Author Archives: gil4or

Part 3B: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and Brutal Aesthetics in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, “Crossing Boundaries”

A Gravely Troubled Man The perspective of the artist is highly self-reflexive. For one, he did not condemn Yeong-hye for her strangeness, though he was unable to truly understand her psychic disposition.  Han’s study of the artist is excessively detailed, … Continue reading

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Part 3A: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and Brutal Aesthetics in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian

“Such Uncanny Serenity” It is dark under the lamp. (Korean quote) The natural world can offer us more than the means to survive, on the one hand, or mortal risks to be avoided, on the other: it can offer us … Continue reading

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Part 2: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and the Brutal Aesthetics of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian

In brutal aesthetics, however, the animal mutates variously into a beast, a god, a monster, or a creature.[i] Brutal aesthetics is not nihilistic, it is only the first step. To illuminate, to connect, to transform, to reanimate is the important … Continue reading

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Part 1: The Uncanny: Metamorphosis and the Brutal Aesthetics of Han Kang’s The Vegetarian.

Commentary on The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith (New York: Hogarth Press, 2015)  “Art is here to prove, and to help one bear, the fact that all safety is an illusion.” (From James Baldwin’s … Continue reading

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Ars Poetica

Echoes of Gombrowicz’s Sensibility: Form and Chaos How do we come to our senses? Who are we? “…I actually thought it unseemly to pass over in silence the callow youth inside me, and I thought grown-ups far too perspicacious and … Continue reading

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Playing It by Ear: a Plea for Dramatizing the Art of Witold Gombrowicz

 The Orality of Trans-Atlantyk and Other Literatures “You are allowed to write about yourself.” Witold Gombrowicz[i] For many, many months, some years ago now, my wife and I sat together through spring-to-summer’s evenings reading the same literary work together.  We … Continue reading

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Witold Gombrowicz: Like Laurence Sterne, a Free Spirit

  A Farce, a Farce, My Kingdom for a Farce!  Try to set yourself against form, try to shake free of it.[From Witold Gombrowicz, A Kind of Testament, edited by Dominique de Roux; translated by Alastair Hamilton (Champaign, Illinois:  Dalkey … Continue reading

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On Gombrowicz’ Trans-Atlantyk

Dear Gombrowicz Lovers or Discontents: It was good to hear some remarks from you early-bird readers who have begun to tackle, to get hooked into (snagged onto?) Trans-Atlantyk and the other Gombrowiczian story (“On the Back Stairs”) and Diary passages … Continue reading

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Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz: A Right Strange Stew!

His grudge was against Poland where his works were banned, against France and Paris which had adopted him so late, against the whole world which had remained blind so long to his genius. [From Maurice Nadeau’s “Introduction” to A Kind … Continue reading

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What’s in a List? A Commentary on Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish (New York: Tyrant Books, 2015)

“Lists today are a way of trying to get through the day, because we’re losing our sense of time.” –David Viscott. Most of my student life in learning languages was spent in memorizing lists. If the reader is familiar with … Continue reading

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