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Colonization as Immigration and the Discovery of a ‘Region’: Choi In-hoon’s Dumangang and the Late Arrival of a Portrait of Colonial Childhood

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2017, 74(4), pp.361-414
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.74.4.201711.361
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : October 18, 2017
  • Accepted : November 2, 2017
  • Published : November 30, 2017

Jang Moon-seok 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Choi In-hoon’s Dumangang (1970), a novel which represented the customs of ‘Town H’ under the Asia-Pacific War in 1943-1944, was based on his childhood experiences. However, the representation was not transparent or smooth, and it was only possible under the conflicting and oppressive relations between childhood memories and the public memories of the nation. As a result, the narrator of Dumangang has two disparate voices about the colonies, and sutured the two voices through the ‘Prologue’ at the beginning of the novel. The narrator of the Dumangang keeps a distance from the typical representation of colony, which regarded the colonial experience as one of suppression and exploitation, and tries to understand colonization as a process of immigration and represents colony as ‘a region’ which colonized Koreans and Japanese colonizers coexisted within conflicts. Furthermore, the ‘region’ represented by Dumangang is the basis for recognizing the subjectivity of the ‘people’, the duplicity of history that constitutes the social order, and the condition of environment. Dumangang captures the life of a particular area and the specific life of the ‘people’, and represents the ‘animalistic affinity’. This interest is deepened through One Day of Novelist Gubo (1970-1972) and The Tempest (1973).

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