[KS] History's twists: thoughts on kwago ch'ongsan and the MOPE syndrome

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at fas.harvard.edu
Sun Sep 8 14:14:14 EDT 2002

Highly interesting posting, in a way ...

>My sense is that some Koreans essentialize History (capital H)
>through a mindset which, by confusing many things, guarantees that
>none of them ever get resolved.

You tell "some Koreans" that they are "confusing many things" and 
therefore are unable to get things resolved (read: to write their own 
history).  Hmm...

>For instance: coming to Korea from Africa, it puzzled me how hard it
>is to have a grown-up discussion about colonialism here.

You are seriously telling Koreans not to be "grown up" and Africans 
to be "grown up"? You are in a position to tell both? How did you get 
there? Is your judgment based on the hundreds of years of British 
colonialism or on the hundreds of years having been colonized? Why 
and how are you bringing your own identity into this discussion -- 
what does it for the credibility or your argument? The British but 
not so British scholar, presenting something that sounds to my ears 
like an amazingly intact colonial approach while claiming your 
"colonized" status at the same time .... does that help to make your 
"argument" valid?

>Endlessly refighting yesterday's battles means wounds never heal.
>Why not close the book?
>In all of the above periods, some Koreans did things for which other
>Koreans cannot forgive them. (Another question: Why does Asia's
>second most Christian nation find forgiveness so difficult?)

Wow! Very condensed writing. Koreans are bad Christians as well ... 
okay, sure. And Koreans are not united, as they cannot forgive each 
other ... the old colonial Japanese argument, sure, I eat that too. 
And they don't seem to know what they are doing anyway (useless 
"refighting yesterday's battles"), so you (we -- the Korea 
specialist?) need to tell them.

Frank Hoffmann
http://KoreaWeb.ws  *  Fax: (415) 727-4792

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