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The Disappearing Future:  Korean Literature during the Asia-Pacific War

Janet Poole

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 3:30pm
Thompson Hall 317

The future seems to disappear from Korean fiction written under late 1930s colonial fascist rule as a stream of protagonists wind their weary way through a repetitive daily life, dreaming of past glories or present escapes. Critics at the time noted the widespread phenomenon of nostalgia and the craze for reading the classics; revolutionaries struggled to imagine a transformed, and postcolonial, society; and all writers had to confront the shrinking space of publication for printed letters and the demand to write in the imperial language, Japanese. Yet what forms of time come to the fore when the future seemingly disappears and what does this suggest about modernism in the Japanese empire and in a global fascist moment?

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