As becomes more and more apparent, Korea and Korean cultural and literary practices have been open and engaged for centuries. Korea was part of the complicated, dangerous, and demanding world during the Kory dynasty when Mongol conquest or the threat of it had unfurled from Korea to Vienna. (And as they say still in Vienna, Wien bleibt Wien; Vienna stays Vienna.) Peter Lee in this issue presents an extraordinarily full account of the cultural context of the Kory songs that have come down to us, through a variety of travelways, to register their voices from a time when even in Korea there was not a cell phone to be found anywhere. What was Korea, Japan, or life like in the twentieth century under Japanese colonial rule? John Frankl has been pursuing that and other questions in his studies and translations of the proto-modernist writer/artist/flâneur Yi Sang. There is something poignantly as well as literally expressive to be found in the scene when Yi Sang the essayist discounts all famous sites in the Japanese capital city as he stands taking a satisfying break at a public toilet. In an old story, a policeman whacks a fellow on the shoulder
Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 25, 2012
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