Intimate Empire: Collaboration and Colonial Modernity in Korea and Japan
This chapter translates Julia Kristeva’s notion of the abject to consider the liminal position of texts and writers negotiating the unstable border between Korea and Japan at a time of rigorous assimilation policies. The chapter details the ways in which colonial Korean literature became, in the late-colonial period, a local literature of empire. The concluding section of the chapter provides an analysis of Kim’s Pegasus, reading this text as performing multiple border crossings, standing between fiction and reality, comedy and tragedy, and between the story of the Self and the Other. Through this reading of “Pegasus,” the chapter shows multilayered ways in which Japanese-language writing by Koreans takes place in the interstices of national literature and is marked by ambivalence that confounds the desire for a bounded national literature.