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Questioning Minds: Short Stories by Modern Korean Women Writers

Questioning Minds: Short Stories by Modern Korean Women Writers 138 The Journal of Korean Studies the countryside revealed as a fantasy in "Autumn with Piano" is further under­ mined by the four-page-long picture of utter destitution in "Broken Reed." Other familiar figures and tropes-the tragic romanticism of the frail intellectual, the ennui of the city dweller, the heroism of the returning veteran, ideals of patriotism, nation, and homeland, the robust farmer, the virtuous wife, the student abroad­ are steadily dismantled in Hwang's brilliant and unflinching prose. These stories thus regularly cross geographic and psychological as well as physical and temporal borders, borders patrolled by soldiers, police, and landlords but also maintained by social norms. Or perhaps it would be better to say that these stories compel their characters to cross borders and then clinically observe the metamorphoses of these human beings as they are stressed to the breaking point. That this border crossing takes place across a variety of contexts is one of the primary strengths of this volume; by providing access to three collections of stories beyond those most familiar in English-primarily "A Shower" (Sonagi, 1952) and "Cranes" (Hak, 1953)-it encourages careful readers to trace stylistic and thematic tra jectories in Hwang's work and explore multiple and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

Questioning Minds: Short Stories by Modern Korean Women Writers

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 15 (1) – Sep 10, 2010

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Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1215/07311613-15-1-138
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

138 The Journal of Korean Studies the countryside revealed as a fantasy in "Autumn with Piano" is further under­ mined by the four-page-long picture of utter destitution in "Broken Reed." Other familiar figures and tropes-the tragic romanticism of the frail intellectual, the ennui of the city dweller, the heroism of the returning veteran, ideals of patriotism, nation, and homeland, the robust farmer, the virtuous wife, the student abroad­ are steadily dismantled in Hwang's brilliant and unflinching prose. These stories thus regularly cross geographic and psychological as well as physical and temporal borders, borders patrolled by soldiers, police, and landlords but also maintained by social norms. Or perhaps it would be better to say that these stories compel their characters to cross borders and then clinically observe the metamorphoses of these human beings as they are stressed to the breaking point. That this border crossing takes place across a variety of contexts is one of the primary strengths of this volume; by providing access to three collections of stories beyond those most familiar in English-primarily "A Shower" (Sonagi, 1952) and "Cranes" (Hak, 1953)-it encourages careful readers to trace stylistic and thematic tra jectories in Hwang's work and explore multiple and

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Sep 10, 2010

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