Abstract: This article explores the cultural significance of boredom and distraction in postmodern Korea by focusing on Hong Sang-su's holiday films. It posits that Hong's films about characters attempting to escape from the banalities of urban life can be seen to reveal, stylistically and thematically, the emotions and anxieties unleashed by excessive leisure in neoliberal Korea. By re-casting the absence of events in Hong's films as an existing affect of lacking, it challenges the adequacy of pre-existing affective paradigms in the understanding of boredom in neoliberal Korea. In recognition of the transient stage in which boredom as emotion finds itself, it proposes categorizing emotions at such historical junctures as "transitional emotions," drawing on theories that socialize rather than psychologize emotion by locating them as circulating inter-subjectively.
Korean Studies – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 22, 2009
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