Abstract

This paper examines the aspects of black people whose images have been projected through Korean novels written since the liberation of Korea. It is hard to find positive depictions of blacks in modern Korean novels. From the novel HonHyeol (Mixed-Blood) 1947, despite the author YoSup Ju’s attempt not to discriminate against mixed-blood people, blacks in Korean novels always took the role of diabolical figure in the binarism of Korean women and American men. From novels such as BeaungSu Song’s Shorikim 1957 and KeunDeok Choe’s serialized story, The Star Seat of the Earth 1957, SunNyeo Bark’s 1960s novel Elize’s Portrait, HeaIll Cho’s 1970s America, SangGuk Jeon’s The Family of Abe, to JungHyo Ann’s 1980s The Silver Stallion, the setting of yellow/black and black/white has always been understood as implying antagonistic relationships, either consciously or unconsciously. The discrimination against people of different color was even more serious than what YoSup Ju’s Mixed-Blood portrayed. However, this doesn’t mean that the novels have shown no possibility of overcoming discrimination against people of different color. Although too little, the whore’s Club (SSembagui; Lettuce)’s solidarity in America and Mother’s loving in The Family of Abe support the new possibility of the collectivities of the Global Age. In these novels, there are positive collectivities formed through the solidarity of ‘subaltern women’ a word used by Spivak. All of the women dream of a new family in reaction to their old egoistic family. Zelkova Tree and Mother, 2006, by Suntae Mun, stands as the only story that portrays a Korean man marrying a black woman. This tries to show a new possibility of change, not of identity, but about altruism toward the differences of multiethnic families. “Henri’s logic of skin color” and the “diamond present” of the wife’s mother in Zelkova Tree and Mother drives a wedge between discrimination and color. Most Korean novels represented ironically the postcolonial contradiction between black people’s social status and Koreans’ obvious discrimination against them through the novels’ negative descriptions of blacks. The discrimination against black people in Korean novels reflected “mis-recognition”, by Spivak, between globalism and post-colonialism. Koreans’ attitudes toward blacks sprang from the Confucian family system in Korea and the resistant nationalist retrospective during the American Military’s controlling age of the Korean Peninsula. A real identity forms and grows not from exclusive familism and nationalism but through self-controlling endeavor, compromise, and negotiation. Nobody can give anyone an identity through strength and threats. A real identity cannot come from one who believes in keeping pure blood and tries to advocate families. Correct formation of identities comes not from the “perhaps” of a strategic politician, but through “teleopoiesis” (Imaginative power transcending time and space) in Aristotle’s Poetics. Good poetic imagination can give a new sort of collectivity to family, such as a communicational multiethnic family. As in the emancipation of slaves and the gaining of women’s suffrage, all the right ideas become possible through teleopoiesis, imagination that works beyond boundaries. A new concept of family is possible through the new collective teleopoiesis of multiethnic families that The new idea, even though it has come neither gradually nor in purity, will pulverize the hegemonies of the old collectivities of binarism we once believed.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2383-9899
Print ISSN
2092-6081
Pages
pp. 193-219
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-06
Open Access
No
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