[KS] Choson Dynasty Sexuality

dmccann at fas.harvard.edu dmccann at fas.harvard.edu
Sat Mar 1 11:20:41 EST 2008

MP gets it right, as often happens.

"In the eye of the beholder," maybe?

Which is the point, is seems, in the opening to Kim Tong In's 1925 short story
"Kamja," "Pototato," where the ironically named female character Pongnyô,
"Fortunate Woman," recalls her innocent village childhood.  The passage seems
almost exactly a paraphrase of MP's remarks:

Pongyô, who had grown up in this environment, considered it perfectly normal to
bathe naked in the stream in summer with the girls from the other houses and to
run around the district with nothing but trousers on; still, when she did, she
carried in her heart a sort of vague snese of refinement in regard to what is
called morality.

(Modern Korean fiction: an Anthology.  Columbia University Press)


Quoting Mark Peterson <markpeterson at byu.edu>:

> Greetings all,
> Some say there is more to so-called genre painting than meets the
> eye.  The voyeurs here are not just the naughty boys behind yonder
> rock, but rather all who are looking at this painting.  They say.  But
> I wouldn't know.  Looks all innocent to me!  There are no explicit
> depictions of any kind in this kind of prudish painting, now are
> there?  Nope.  I don't see anything.
> It's kind of like the emperor's new clothes, maybe.  If you happen to
> see something,  just turn your heads or close your eyes.  "It just
> couldn't be .... "  Or could it.
> If you do see it, well... you just ought to be embarrassed.  And you
> certainly shouldn't tell anyone else.
> innocently yours,
> MP

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