East of West pp 93-110 | Cite as

On Making Things Korean: Western Drama and Local Tradition in Yi Man-hûi’s Please Turn Out the Lights

  • Jinhee Kim


It has become commonplace to assert that Western forms and themes have massively invaded non-Western values and worldviews. Surprisingly often in postcolonial as well as colonial criticism, the West is portrayed as the perpetrator, while the non-Western population is cast as the victim, once subjugated by Western political imperialism and now dominated by a subtle yet equally destructive cultural imperialism. It is not uncommon to hear postcolonial scholars voicing fear that Western hegemony will eventually obliterate indigenous cultural identities and their will to power.1 From this perspective, the hegemony of the West is so extensive that it jeopardizes the very existence of non-Western cultures.


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  1. 1.
    See, for example, Fredric Jameson, “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism,” Social Text 15, 3 (1986): 65–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anne McIntock, Imperial Leather (New York: Routledge, 1995).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    See Chungmoo Choi, “The Discourse of Decolonization and Popular Memory: South Korea,” Positions 1 (1993): 77–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Nak-chung Paik, “The Idea of Korean National Literature Then and Now,” Positions 1 (1993): 553–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 4.
    Yông-gôl Kang, “Muôti changgi kong’yônûl mandûnûnga?” (“What Makes a Play Successful?”), The Korean Theatre Review 196 (1992): 12–15.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Man-hûi Yi, Pul chom kkô chuseyo [Please Turn Out the Lights] (Seoul: Tae-hakro Kûkchang, 1992), 13.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Yun-ch’ôl Kim, “Please Turn Out the Lights: The Strengths, Weaknesses, and Flaws of Experiment,” The Korean Theatre Review 194 (1992): 13.Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steve Rendall (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1988), xii–xiii.Google Scholar
  9. 12.
    In-sô Myông, “Taejungkûk ûro chari chapûl su ittnûn mudae” (“The State that Can Claim the Mainstream”), The Korean Theatre Review 206 (1993): 35.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Claire Sponsler and Xiaomei Chen 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinhee Kim

There are no affiliations available

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