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Contesting The Symbolic: The Feminine In The Fantastic

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Chapter Summary

Despite Korean women writers' efforts to highlight the perceived difficulties or emotional suffering of their female protagonists depicted in their narratives, there appears to be a real difficulty in moving beyond understanding femininity in terms other than interiority, passivity and the maternal. Since fiction written in the realistic or mimetic mode can be a particularly uncompromising platform for re-imagining femininity, it appears that the possibility of doing so lies only within the silences of patriarchal culture about the feminine. Textual subversions within the fantastic genre are thus possible because of the way the genre 'bends' perceived reality in creating textual dynamics. The protagonist's 'fall into the world' represents an escape from the one- sided view of the masculine, not bound within definable boundaries, but which is in constant movement in open spaces. Korean understanding of death is informed by various religious and philosophical lines of thinking.

Keywords: female protagonists; feminine; Korean women writers



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