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Can We Live as One Family? Rethinking the Two Koreas' Kinship in John Hoon's Kang Tek-koo

  • SUK-YOUNG KIM

Abstract

John Hoon's play, Kang Tek-koo, tells the story of the unexpected encounter between two half-brothers, one South Korean and the other North Korean, in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the play, the conventional tragic scene of the reunion of the family members separated by the Korean War is dealt with in a resilient comic spirit from the perspective of a younger generation of South Koreans. This article examines the production of Kang Tek-koo by the South Korean company Apple Theatre, which took place in 2001 – a time when the fluid dynamics of globalization were encompassing Korea, and the transnational flow of media, people, and ideology opened up the possibility for North and South Koreans to interact and search for a common language, culture, home and nationhood.

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The author would like to thank the Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern University for sponsoring 2001 research trip to Korea and Alex Burry, Peter Carroll and R. E. Martin for their careful reading of the manuscript and valuable suggestion.

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Can We Live as One Family? Rethinking the Two Koreas' Kinship in John Hoon's Kang Tek-koo

  • SUK-YOUNG KIM

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