Julie Lee Humanities and Social Science
Uncanny Narratives of Gendered Trauma in Oh Jung-hees "The Yard of Childhood"
According to the author herself, Oh Jung-hees 1981 short story collection (“The Yard of Childhood”) took the form of a novel sequence when she rearranged eight of her previously published stories by protagonist age. The sequence, however unplanned, elegiacally traces the compressed post-war development of South Korea in the 1950s-70sall through the anonymous coming-of-age story of an impoverished girl who becomes an alienated housewife haunted by her past. My research, then, engages in a close reading of Oh through the lens of literary trauma theory, examining how the psychological process of reparation re-presents traumatic memory as narrative memory. Im especially drawn to the interplay between Ohs use of linguistic and diegetic repetition, intertextuality, and the uncanny. By studying both Korean- and English-language secondary texts, I seek to not only critique the masculinist narrative of South Korean division literature, but to interrogate the assumed universality of eurocentric theoretical concepts.