ISSN 1226-8682

대한영어영문학회 전자저널

대한영어영문학회 전자저널

대한영어영문학회

47권 4호 (2021년 11월)

Wartime Sexual Violence, Traumatic Memory and Narrative in Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman and Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life

박금희

Pages : 43

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.21559/aellk.2021.47.4.003

PDF보기

리스트

Abstract

Park, Geum Hee. “Wartime Sexual Violence, Traumatic Memory and Narrative in Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman and Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life.” Studies in English Language & Literature 47.4 (2021): 43-70. On the basis of the tragedies of Nora Okja Keller’s heroine Soon Hyo Kim and Chang-rae Lee’s hero Franklin Hata, this article aims to examine the psychological impact of wartime sexual violence by Japanese imperialists on witnesses as well as sex slaves from the perspective of post-Freudians, who have complemented Freudian theories with modern approaches. To this end, this paper compares the cases of Soon Hyo as a twelve-year-old sex-worker and Hata as a Korean Japanese medic who witnessed his lover Kkutaeh’s gang-rape and brutal slaughter, with those of the traumatized patients treated by Bessel van der Kolk, who has applied and modified key Freudian concepts in clinical practice. In fact, both Keller’s Comfort Woman and Lee’s A Gesture Life substantially depict a wide range of the symptoms of PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) that Soon Hyo and Hata display. The symptoms are compared to those of van der Kolk’s patient, Julian, a victim of sexual violence in childhood, and Vietnam War veterans, and they include flashbacks, nightmarish day dreams, nightmares, possessions, hallucinations, etc. The symptoms are because the overwhelming, violent events about wartime sexual violence in Japanese military brothels returning as memories to the victims’ brain are repeatedly enacted and reenacted, whenever being triggered by precipitating factors. In the sense that the protagonists’ lives resonate to wartime sexual violent victims, Comfort Woman and A Gesture Life can be exemplary literary texts of the talking cure, which has been recommended since the Freud era as a therapy of trauma. (Chosun University)

Keywords

# trauma # wartime sexual violence # Comfort Woman # A Gesture Life # post-Freudianism # talking cure

References

  • Balaev, Michelle. “Trends in Literary.” Mosaic 41.2 (2008): 149-165. Print.
  • Breuer, Joseph and Sigmund Freud. Studies on Hysteria. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud II. Trans. And Eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud. London: Hogarth Press, 1995. pp. 1-335. Print.
  • Carroll, Hamilton. “Traumatic Patriarchy: Reading Gendered Nationalisms in Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life.” MFS Modern Fiction Studies 51.3 (2005): 592-616. Print.
  • Caruth, Cathy. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History. Baltimore: UP of Johns Hopkins, 1996. Print.
  • Chang, Joan C. H.. “A Gesture Life: Reviewing the Model Minority Complex a Global Context.” Journal of American Studies 37.1 (2005): 131-52. Print.
  • Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud II. Trans and Eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud. London: Hogarth Press, 1973. pp. 7-64. Print.
  • ______. Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. Trans. James Strachey. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Inc., 1959. Print.
  • ______. Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety. Trans. Alix Strachey. Ed. James Strachey. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1989. Print.
  • ______. Moses and Monotheism: Three Essays. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud II. Trans and Eds. James Strachey and Anna Freud. London: Hogarth Press, 1973. pp. 7-137. Print.
  • Janet, Pierre. Psychological Healing: A Historical and Clinical Study (Vol. II). 1919. Trans. E. Paul & C. Paul. New York: Macmillan, 1976. Print.
  • Keller, Nora Okja. Comfort Woman. New York: Penguin Books, 1998. Print.
  • ______. “Nora Okja Keller scores big--her first novel is released by a major publisher: An Interview with Burl Burlingame.” Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 1997. Web. Jan. 22, 2021.
  • Kim-Gibson, Dai Sil. “They Are Our Grandmas.” The Comfort Women: Colonialism, War, and Sex. Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique 5.1 (1997): 255-74. Print.
  • Lansky, Melvin R. & Bley, Carole R.. Posttraumatic Nightmares; Psychodynamic Explorations. New Jersey: Hillsdale, 1995. Print.
  • Lee, Chang-rae. “A Preface.” A Gesture Life. Trans. Jung Youngmok. Seoul: Random House JoongAng, 2005. pp. 5-8. Print. [이창래. 「서문」. 『제스처라이프』. 정영목 옮김. 서울: 랜덤하우스중앙, 2005. pp. 5-8.]
  • ______. A Gesture Life: A Novel. New York: Riverhead Books, 1999. Print.
  • Lee, Jae-uk. “Former comfort woman passes away at age 90.” The Hankyoreh. The Hankyoreh, 27 Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2020.
  • Lee, Seonju. “Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life: Passing, Assimilation and Diaspora.” American Studies 31.2 (2008): 235-264. Print. [이선주. 「이창래의 『제스처 인생』: 패싱, 동화와 디아스포라. 『미국학』 (2008): 235-64.]
  • Lee, So-Hee. “The Gendered Trauma in A Gesture Life. Studies in Modern Fiction 13.1 (2006): 133-56. Print. [이소희. 「『제스처 인생』에 나타난 젠더화된 트라우마. 『현대영미소설』 (2006): 133-56.]
  • Lee, Young-Oak. “Language and Identity: An Interview with Chang-Rae Lee.” Amerasia Journal 30.1 (2004): 215-227. Print.
  • Leys, Ruth. Trauma: A Genealogy. Chicago and London: UP of Chicago, 2000. Print.
  • Lowe, Lisa. Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics. Durham and London: UP of Duke, 1996. Print.
  • Park, Geum Hee. “War-trauma and the Failure of Franklin Hata’s Self-masking in A Gesture Life.” Studies in English Language & Literature 45.4 (2019): 17-38. Print.
  • Tal, Kali. Worlds of Hurt: Reading the Literature of Trauma. New York: UP of Cambridge, 1996. Print.
  • The Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan. True Stories of the Korean Comfort Women. Ed. Keith Howard. Trans. Young Joo Lee. London: Cassell &Co., 1995. Print.
  • Van der Kolk, Bessel A.. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York: Penguin Books, 2015. Print.
  • Van der Kolk, Bessel A., Alexander C. McFarlane, and Lars Weisaeth. Eds. Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body, and Society. New York: The Guilford Press, 1996. Print.
  • Yook, Sung Hee. “Mourning Unmourned Deaths: Shamanic Rituals in Nora Okja Keller’s Comfort Woman.” Feminist Studies in English Literature 19.3 (2011): 127-53. Print.