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When Gender Reprensents Narrative, a Case for Queer-writing: About Transgender Author Kim Bi

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2024, 81(1), pp.181-212
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.81.1.202402.181
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : January 23, 2024
  • Accepted : February 6, 2024
  • Published : February 28, 2024

ROH TAEHOON 1

1인하대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Transgender author Kim Bi began her work in earnest in the late 1990s through PC communications and websites. She has been an active writer since then, experiencing the period when transgender discourse was formed and their existence became visible. She has been working to expand the horizons of awareness of gender experiences and translating and introducing transgender discourses. Starting with her first short story series in 1998, she published her first novel Bitch (『개년이』) in 2002, her first short story collection NanaNunana (『나나누나나』) in 2006, and especially in 2007, Plastic Woman (『플라스틱 여인』) which was selected for the 39th Women Dong-a Contest. Unlike many queer narratives that focus on tracing one’s fundamental memory, Kim builds a narrative in a way that depicts future solidarity or hope by introducing various genderqueer characters. To this end, she uses ‘queer melodrama’ representations to construct clichéd and familiar plots, but also shows changes in identity that are not fixed through the narrative structure through the unexpectedness of the ending. The harsh harsh and naked profanity in Bitch creates an effect of liberation and self-esteem by allowing the transgender author to freely appropriate sexual symbols full of gender malice. Furthermore, it is noted that the author is expanding the scope of her work through the representation of adolescent characters and expanding the realm of time/ space occupied by queer people. This article analyzes the history of transgender writer Kim Bi and her literary activities as having the power to make us believe in the power of love and solidarity at a time when hatred, discrimination, and exclusion are becoming extreme. In doing so, this paper traces the paths through which Kim’s work has gone beyond so-called self-confessional writing, in line with recent developments in queer literary studies.

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