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Imagined, Transcultural, and Colonial Spaces in Print: Newspaper Serialization of Translated Novels in Colonial Korea

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Abstract This essay analyzes the Korean ‘relay translation’ of a Japanese adaptation of an English popular novel, entitled Chŏngbuwŏn (A virtuous woman’s resentment) in Korean, which was serialized in a daily newspaper in the mid-1910s. In tandem with the English source text and the Japanese translation, the meaning of the Korean translation was overdetermined by advertisements for the translation, the translator’s preface and footnotes, the readers’ responses, and the serialized novel’s physical coexistence with news carried in the same visual space. Using the prism of space (both tangible and imagined) as a pivot, I argue that the publication of serialized translations of novels in newspapers was situated on the cultural front-line that confronted and negotiated the diverse constructive forces that shaped modern Korean literature. This form of publication thus highlights the characteristics of literature as process, a view that reinstates such seemingly incomplete writings and translations as authentic and legitimate cultural (literary) constituents in modern Korea.

Affiliations: 1: University of Washington


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