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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 11(1); 2020 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2020;11(1): 29-45.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2020.11.1.29
The Introduction of Science Fiction to Korea :The Undercutting of Enlightenment and the Scientific Imagination in The Iron World:a Science Fiction Novel, a translation of Jules Verne’s novel by Lee Haejo
Hyosun KIM
Professor of Korea University
韓国における科学小説の受容 ―― ジュール·ウエルーヌ作、李海朝述譯 科学小説鉄世界の啓蒙性と科学的想像力を中心に
Correspondence  Hyosun KIM ,Email: uzzanzi@korea.ac.kr
Published online: 30 December 2020.
Copyright ©2020 The Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The Iron World:a Science-Fiction Novel, Lee Haejo’s translation of Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum by Jules Verne, is one of the first complete Korean translations of a full-length science fiction text, and it exemplifies how science fiction novels were first introduced to Korea. Jules Verne was a pioneer of the modern genre of science fiction, his work characterized by narratives that dealt with scientific theories and forms of knowledge that provoke the scientific imagination. Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum is no exception, and Lee Haejo based his translation on Morita Shiken’s translation, The Iron World, which kept the original’s typical science fiction elements largely intact. However, Lee’s translation highlights the conflict between Germany and France during the period in which the novel is set, transforming the work into an enlightenment novel that promotes patriotism. The characters are presented within the stereotypical framework of good and evil, and there are noticeably more subjective and emotional depictions of the surrounding environment. As a result, the translation obscures the essence of science fiction, which stimulates the scientific imagination through its focus on scientific theories and knowledge. This limitation can be interpreted as stemming from the vagaries of the Korean literary scene of the time rather than from the instincts of Lee Haejo. In fact, the limited vision of the Korean literary milieu led to the near absence of original science fiction in Korea before the 1960s.
Keywords: Science Fiction, Jules Verne, Lee Haejo, Morita Shiken, Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum

キ―ワ―ド: 科学小説, ジュール·ヴェルヌ, 李海潮, 森田思軒, 鉄世界
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