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Book Reviews223 considered the confident and aggressive Japanese race superior to Koreans and Chinese (pp. 135-37 et passim). Ito Hirobumi's record as Resident-General in Korea was that of a benevolent dictator and the Japanese government's performance under Ito was a mixture of idealism and realism, humane service and extreme selfishness, progress and setbacks . . . (pp. 158-59). In terms of communication, consciousness and participation — communication theory as a basis for the concept of nation — there was no such entity as a nation in Korea in the early twentieth century. What existed were more than ten million [sic] individuals — they should be considered more as a family — under an oppressive and corrupt bureaucracy (p. 165)One final note: Chay needs to pay close attention to his romanization of Korean names and terms. He uses an idiosyncratic mixture of the McCune-Reischauer system and his own devices. It is curious that his publisher could not find a competent editor to tidy up this aspect of his writing. Chay has no idea of how euphonic changes should be rendered in transliteration. He spells Miguk as Mikuk, Kwagö as Kwakö, sugyo as sukyo, sillok as silnok, and ilgi as ilki. These are just a few of the scores of romanization errors that fill Chay's notes and bibliography. Regardless of the wisdom or unwisdom of some of Chay's assertions and his frequent romanization errors, his book is a handy survey, quite useful as a text for a general course on Korean-America relations. For the most part it is a painstaking work and an eminently dependable source of information of the first half-century of American contacts with Korea. Vipan Chandra Wheaton College Silver Stallion. By Ahn Junghyo. New York: Soho Press, 1990. Pp.269. $19.95. Silver Stallion and its predecessor, White Badge (reviewed by Carter Eckert, Journal ofAsian Studies 49, no. 2 [May 1990]: 420-21), mark a milestone in Korean literature in translation, in that Ahn Junghyo wrote these two novels specifically for an American audience. Ahn's decision to target that audience is significant for several reasons. First, it prompted him to rewrite the Korean originals in English, rather than attempting a faithful translation. The distinction is 224Journal of Korean Studies important, for rewriting allowed Ahn greater scope than translation would have to free himself from the rhythms of Korean syntax and to adopt the idiom of American English (he has not been completely successful in this attempt, it must be noted). Second, the decision affected Ahn's choice of subject matter: Korean soldiers in the Vietnam War are the focus of White Badge, and the effect on Korean villagers of the presence of United Nations forces during the Korean War figures prominently in Silver Stallion. These little-known aspects (to Americans) of two epochal events in modern American history provide fertile material for cross-cultural encounters, and in both books it is these encounters that provide much of the interest. Third, whereas much of the emotion in modern Korean fiction is understated — Western readers often find Korean fiction flat in tone — Ahn has given the characters in Silver Stallion full vent to their feelings. Any Westerner who has ever witnessed a brouhaha in Korea will likely find Ahn's characters, and the passions they reveal, very much true to life. Last, and particularly in Silver Stallion, Ahn has served his readers a wealth of information about Korean culture, information that would normally be implicit in a Korean text (the Korean readers of the original text, after all, don't need to be told what kimch'i and makkölli are). Take for example, this paragraph from the very first page of Silver Stallion: Old Hwang... took a bush-clover broom from the rice barn and started sweeping the courtyaid. By the time he reached the stepping stones outside the gate, white streaks of smoke rose gently from the low earthern chimneys of the huts in the fields. The women inside were cooking the breakfast rice. Farmers trickled out of their homes one after another, each slinging a shovel or a long-handled hoe over his shoulder, to do some work before the first meal. This...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1665
Print ISSN
0731-1613
Pages
pp. 223-226
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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