S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.69/72(2015)
유령의 귀환과 비통한 마음의 서사
The return of a ghost and an epic of heartbreak
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.69, pp. 109-129
- 애도; 죄책감; 기억의 정치; 슬픔; 광주 민주화 항쟁; 희생자; 후일담; Condolences; sense of guilt; memory storage; sorrow; Kwangju democracy Movement; victims; behind story
- Condolences are a rite of emotion for helping us to overcome sorrow because survives can put the memory of the dead into site of memory and come back to daily life. Condolences can last, not just one-off event, because ‘the impossibility of condolences’ failed like paradoxical thesis of Jacques Derrida that can assure faithfulness of condolences. It seems that ‘the faithfulness of condolences’ is well identified by the fall victim to a certain suppressed power and the condolences, which is not natural death. It is because sacrificial death is sized with ‘a grudge’ that can’t be forgotten easily even though time goes by. It makes ‘condolences’ be an issue that is down to a social group, which a community shall bear, not to personal feeling wounded by the loss. It is because it brings up the necessity to heal sorrow as a group, not personal dimension, as giving trauma to whole communities.
Empathy for sorrow and the solidarity that people can feel might be a key point of political experiment for forming ‘us’, beyond an isolated individual. Condolences come from a human being that can respond as an existence and have responsibility to respond. Here, responsibility refers to an entrance into the relation with others, leaving one’s own isolated world. Therefore, condolences make us go our own life into a prospect of our life, not making the victims be an exorcist as making them be a monument. It can be an ethical theme. as asking us to change lifestyle. It is because if a heart that empathizes deeply the pain of others and considers doesn’t rise up, condolences may be just a chance of a political battle. According to Kobysashi Hideo, history is ‘the greatest grudge of mankind’, so what has been supporting it is not ‘casual links’ but ‘our regret’.
Seeing the example of it, there are two novels. When 『a boy comes』 by Han-gang tried to reveal the iniquity of state violence based on a detailed historical research of Kwangju, it tried to do an aesthetic test which the people from the outside can share the event of contempt that the victims had. Explorations in human scar which the victims had can’t be collected with language such as idea, politics and the main body of history, as inducing somber empathy for human vulnerability. Moreover, 『Legato』, which is a disclosed statement of the generation in Kwangju, has evoked the importance of a sharp sense for violence that is done unconsciously, prior to political knowledge or purity of faith. It seems that the naked violence lead the readers to disillusioned and a cynic for human nature. These works, however, imply that emotion which has been degrading under reason such as humiliation and sense of guilty until now could be a clue that calls ethically mankind and rebuilds justice of community. Especially, condolences make sorrows be a meaning as a political resource for a fine emotion of community, as awakening that we are inextricably linked with others.