A Korean “Apocryphal” Island, Once the Shore, by Paul Yoon

  • Marc AmfrevilleEmail author


With remarkable sparseness and a poetic quality that both screens and reveals violence, Once the Shore by Paul Yoon bridges the gap between the intimate and the universal. The writer imaginarily goes back to a country and various moments of history that he never actually knew, summoning up spectral presences of all kinds. This chapter questions the double analogical movement that leads from personal to collective trauma and from the historical to the most intimate wounding. Memory, fragmented as a result of repeated inflicted shocks, thus belatedly emerges as an archipelago of short stories that eventually reconstitute a unique human island. Stemming from Freud’s Moses and Monotheism, this chapter also draws on Cathy Caruth’s 2013 Literature in the Ashes of History.


Collective memory Individual remembrance Representation Trauma Spectrality 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sorbonne UniversityParisFrance

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