Literary Criticism of Law and the Narrative of Minorities: With Examples of Short Novels by Park Min Kyu, Yoon Seong Hee, and Kim Ae Ran

Maison de l'Asie - Grand salon (1er étage)  -  22 avenue du Président Wilson  -  75116 Paris
Human right issues are basically related to notion of isolation, emotional wounds, trauma and recovery, which cannot be sensitively described in rational language of law, or the Father. Literary works help grasping unseen and unheard narratives in legal discourse. Primary role that literature may play in human right issues is to disclose the brutal scenery of discrimination, for literary narrative has prevailing power in touching emotional code of the mass through form of reportage. Moreover, unearthing yet-to-be-discovered subject issues in human right is a unique contribution that law and literature could make on legal discourse of human right, thereby leading to recovering polyphonic justice. Such disclosing, discovering, and recovering of human right may be performed through literary criticism on novels of contemporaneous writers. While Korean literature from the post war period throughout the 80s show tendency of treating wounds in relation to historical trauma or collective identity, illustrating a clear line between prevalent oppressor(whether it be colonialism, military dictatorship or capitalism) and minority subjects as a whole, novels released during the past two decades touches post-historical, transnational, and surrealistic issues taking place in micro-spatial backgrounds(convenient store, gosiwon, internet blog etc.).
This presentation tries to illustrate unique perspective and storytelling that Korean novelists of the 2000s make use of when dealing with marginalized voices, especially focusing at signature short novels of three young writers: Park Min Kyu, Yoon Seong Hee and Kim Ae Ran. Common factors that these three contemporaneous novelists share would be the following: i)postmodern style of narration, for the novelty that they bring forth to human right discourse derives from uniqueness of writing style rather than originality of themes or materials: for instance, blocking reader’s empathetic concentration by abrupt bluster of bizarre jokes in such serious scenes(Park Min Kyu), delivering painful event in dry numb sentences(Yoon Seong Hee), or running away to the imaginary before wounds of the Real gets to the Symbol(Kim Ae Ran). Readers do sense the hurts, but still puzzled at where they come from. Hence they have to develop keen sense of hearing and gaze. ii)perspective towards ‘law as the Father,’ for fathers in their stories are either absent or incompetent. Absent and incompetent indeed, thereby too vulnerable to be the subject of oedipal murderous wish. As a consequence, sons and daughters of these fathers in their novels are always-already well aware that justice to arrive would delay forever. iii) thus, the protagonists chose to take flight(fuite) to the imaginary rather than standing up with fists of rage. It is neither class nor ideology, that creates solidarity here, but the wounds of the other which only those of whom being wounded may recognize.
  • le vendredi 4 mars 2011  de 14h  à 16h

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