Feminist worlds in the battle of the sexes – the captivity of the kitchen and the liberation of prey in contemporary Korean prose Cover Image
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Feministyczne światy w walce płci – niewola kuchni i wyzwolenie zdobyczy we współczesnej prozie koreańskiej
Feminist worlds in the battle of the sexes – the captivity of the kitchen and the liberation of prey in contemporary Korean prose

Author(s): Justyna Najbar-Miller
Subject(s): Cultural history, Studies of Literature, Other Language Literature, Philology
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: Korean contemporary prose; female literature; food; cooking; predator-prey interaction; gender roles; Han Kang; Jo Kyung-ran; Oh Soo-yeon
Summary/Abstract: On the threshold of the 21st century, within the feminizing trends of contemporary Korean literature, we can distinguish the motifs of eating and cooking which reflect the relations between men and women and applied in the form of artistic provocation aim to overcome the stereotype of a female as an object of consumption. The article discusses three distinctive works representing this trend of Korean female prose: The Kitchen written by Oh Soo-yeon in 2001, The Tongue by Jo Kyung-ran from 2007 and The Vegetarian by Han Kang from the same year. Two of the texts discussed here have already been published in Polish. The Tongue was translated by Ewa Rynarzewska, while The Vegetarian was put into Polish by the author of the article in cooperation with Choi Jeong In. For the sake of reference, the author of the article has also translated some fragments of Oh Soo-yeon’s novel making them available to Polish readers. The visions of all three Korean writers presented here are filled with threads of violent struggles of heroines and heroes trying to fight gender stereotypes. The literary analysis contained in this article helps to observe how far all the discussed scenes and themes of these novels, which are radically denying all kinds of dependence on sacred tradition, are able to open up a new chapter in Korean contemporary literature: the literature of protest and rebellion based on the deconstruction of the existing reality.

  • Page Range: 109-139
  • Page Count: 31
  • Publication Year: 2019
  • Language: Polish