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Author: Sowon S. Park

Damned to silence or condemned to compliance: these are the two options open to writers in North Korea – the ultimate police State, whose panoptic perfection of power is a living example of what Bentham and Foucault theorized. So as an example of how literature reacts to policing, or how it participates in it, North Korea may seem like a dead-end, providing little that could generate discussion about the varied and complex interplay between disciplinary mechanism and artistic will-to-expression. For one might assume, what is there to say about the 1984-like party-sanctioned Newspeak novels that faithfully and unswervingly patrol the borders of socialist-realist-nationalist-didacticism? Or about theories that line up to embody the ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ literary school of the loyal Orwellian sheep? But while the North Korean political classes continue to posture in unsplendid isolation from the rest of the world, there has been a growing exploration of ordinary lives under total policing that have produced more nuanced readings. This chapter examines how totalitarian policing shapes emotional identity in a North Korean defector’s memoir (by Shin DongHyuk) with reference to emotional authenticity, George Orwell and western ideals of public transparency.

In: Policing Literary Theory
Author: Sowon S. Park

Damned to silence or condemned to compliance: these are the two options open to writers in North Korea – the ultimate police State, whose panoptic perfection of power is a living example of what Bentham and Foucault theorized. So as an example of how literature reacts to policing, or how it participates in it, North Korea may seem like a dead-end, providing little that could generate discussion about the varied and complex interplay between disciplinary mechanism and artistic will-to-expression. For one might assume, what is there to say about the 1984-like party-sanctioned Newspeak novels that faithfully and unswervingly patrol the borders of socialist-realist-nationalist-didacticism? Or about theories that line up to embody the ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ literary school of the loyal Orwellian sheep? But while the North Korean political classes continue to posture in unsplendid isolation from the rest of the world, there has been a growing exploration of ordinary lives under total policing that have produced more nuanced readings. This chapter examines how totalitarian policing shapes emotional identity in a North Korean defector’s memoir (by Shin DongHyuk) with reference to emotional authenticity, George Orwell and western ideals of public transparency.

In: Policing Literary Theory
Author: Sowon S. Park

Damned to silence or condemned to compliance: these are the two options open to writers in North Korea – the ultimate police State, whose panoptic perfection of power is a living example of what Bentham and Foucault theorized. So as an example of how literature reacts to policing, or how it participates in it, North Korea may seem like a dead-end, providing little that could generate discussion about the varied and complex interplay between disciplinary mechanism and artistic will-to-expression. For one might assume, what is there to say about the 1984-like party-sanctioned Newspeak novels that faithfully and unswervingly patrol the borders of socialist-realist-nationalist-didacticism? Or about theories that line up to embody the ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ literary school of the loyal Orwellian sheep? But while the North Korean political classes continue to posture in unsplendid isolation from the rest of the world, there has been a growing exploration of ordinary lives under total policing that have produced more nuanced readings. This chapter examines how totalitarian policing shapes emotional identity in a North Korean defector’s memoir (by Shin DongHyuk) with reference to emotional authenticity, George Orwell and western ideals of public transparency.

In: Policing Literary Theory
Author: Sowon S. Park

The essays collected in this special issue think about literature through the prism of script. The emphasis is primarily on the cultural sphere inscribed by Chinese characters, or the “Chinese Scriptworld” (漢字文化圈)—China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. All of the countries in this “scriptworld” use, or have used, Chinese characters for writing though each has its own distinct language(s). By examining the interrelations between writing, speech, thought and culture in and outside this region, the special issue investigates the significance of script and builds a case for the scriptworld as a useful analytical unit for world literature. A more complete study of world literatures, as classified by script, will bring a dimension that is currently missing from world literary theories of translation and circulation.

Free access
In: Journal of World Literature