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Archive for April, 2009

FOCAL POINT trains its lens on one of the 15,000 North Korean defectors who have made it to South Korea. Twenty-year-old Haejung (not her real name) was smuggled out of North Korea some years ago in the hope of a better life — leaving her family behind. She now attends Hangyeore High School, a special boarding school an hour outside of Seoul, founded in 2006 to help North Korean teens adjust to life in the South. Most of the school’s 240 students are separated from one or both of their parents back in the North, with little hope of ever seeing them again. They experience severe culture shock transitioning from one of the world’s most isolated Communist states to one of the most technologically and economically advanced societies. The school tries to fill both the emotional void and the cultural gaps. The students eat, sleep, and study on campus. The teachers live with them in the dorms, and many have training as therapists to provide psychological counseling. The curriculum includes everything from history to English to learning how to use a cell phone, computer or credit card. In Field Trip to the DMZ, the students make their annual trip to the border, and Haejung dreams of a time when her family and her homelands will be reunited. (Field Trip to the DMZ )

         

DMZ  (Demilitarized Zone)

DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)

 DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) sounds impossible to visit; yet it is not that hard to visit DMZ. In fact most of the South Korean students have a field trip to DMZ once in their 12 years of educational life. Even I have been to DMZ last year; the whole governmental economics and global issues students had a field trip to DMZ. To South Koreans DMZ is just a site of historical and educational value. Yet what would it be like for North Korean refugees to visit DMZ? The 8 minutes documentary we have watched in class clearly portrayed the sorrow of the North Korean refugee students during the trip to DMZ.
          Being a refugee is not just running away from a certain country; it means that a person needs to leave something very important behind. For the students in the documentary, they left their family in North Korea. DMZ would be the closest place from their families for those students. Such seperations of families are not rare incident today. There are hundreds of families that have to live their lives forever without being able to see other members of the family. This is the reality that both Koreas have to face ever since DMZ was established to divide the nation into two. The lives in South Korea for the North Korea refugees aren’t easy as well. The people’s views treat those students differently from South Koreans. I just cannot imagine that students even younger than my age are experiencing such hardship. While watching the documentary, I was just glad to be born as a South Korean.

A student who is a North Korean refugee, visiting DMZ

A student who is a North Korean refugee, visiting DMZ

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Cormac McCarthy

CORMAC MCCARTHY has practiced the Joycean virtues of silence, exile and cunning more faithfully than any other contemporary author; until very recently, he shunned publicity so effectively that he wasn’t even famous for it. By his single-minded commitment to his work and his apparent indifference to the rewards and aggrandizements quite openly pursued by the rest of us, he puts most other American writers to shame. The work itself repays the tight focus of his attention with its finely wrought craftsmanship and its ferocious energy. ( NYT’s article covering the release of All the Pretty Horses)

Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy

1. What authors or genres of writing are cited as influencing McCarthy’s writing style? 
          An above exerpt is from the New York Times and it explains about Cormac McCarthy and his writing style. The article states that “Cormac McCarthy has practiced the Joycean virtues of silence, exile and cunning more faithfully thatn any other contemporary author.” This shows how McCarthy was different from his contemporary writers and was not really influenced by them. Yet the article mentions, “This mixture builds on Faulkner’s work, yet, more than Faulkner ever did, Mr. McCarthy seems to be pulling the language apart at its roots,” implying that Faulkner has somewhat influenced McCarthy’s writing style.

2. How does McCarthy treat human characters in his story as opposed to landscape and animals like horses? 
         The article reads, “Mr. McCarthy’s descriptions of the landscape are breathtakingly beautiful, but anyone who thinks he is sentimental about nature need only read “Blood Meridian” for a permanent cure.” This implies McCarthy’s beautiful use of language to put value on to landscape and animals. “…while in Mr. McCarthy’s work human thought and activity seem almost completely inconsequential when projected upon the vast alien landscapes where they occur,” is also a quote from the article that demonstrates how McCarthy does not put his value upon the individual characters, but the picture as whole. Unlike other authors like Faulkner, McCarthy is disinterested on individual characters; he portrays beauty of his novel through his mixture of landscape and the characters. Yet his value upon landscape is partly bigger than that of his characters.

3. What type of dialogue does the article state McCarthy uses?
         This is what the article states about McCarthy’s use of his dialogues: “Powered by long, tumbling many-stranded sentences, his descriptive style is elaborate and elevated, but also used effectively to frame realistic dialogue, for which his ear is deadly accurate.” It says his prose is produced with stranded sentences with comma splices and run-on sentences, which effectively brings reality to his dialogue. The article states that McCarthy’s use of dialogue is like a real dialogue between two real people.

4. What is notable about his diction (word choice)? 
          McCarthy uses strange words that he even makes up by himself; there are many odd words. I believe this is to bring reality to his prose. The article even says that his words evolved from all around the history of English: “His diction and phrasing come from all over the evolutionary history of English and combine into a prose that seems to invent itself as it unfolds, resembling Elizabethan language in its flux of remarkable possibilities.”

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Modernism

1. Vehicles

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Today’s vehicles might be one of the big examples of modernism. Vehicles like the Black Ferrari in the left resemble modern technology and the development to modernism from past horsebacks. With the establishment of modernism, transportaion evoloved greatly, making people’s life much easier and much fasionable, luxurious.

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2.  Skyscrapers / Hotels

burj-al-arab-dubai-hotel-sail-arab-emirates

Today’s skryscrapers and hotels examplify modernism. First of all, in the past tall skyscrapers were not in the diction of architecture. Yet with the growth of modernism field of architecture evoloved and started making skyscrapers, even to the height that no one could have thought about. Hotels are also new luxury present of modernism. The hotel system was brandnew to the world as people were able to get temporary shelter with money. Luxuries provided in the hotels are also new kind of system.

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3.  Hip Hop

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Modernism is also demonstrated through changed music art & style. Unlike classisc of the past, modern music includes new genre of hip hop. Hip hop was a great challenge to traditional music and dance art with beats, rhymes, and language usage. We can’t define modernism without hip hop.

hip-hop

 

 

4.  Movies (from drawing->pictures->motion pictures-> to movie)

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We also cannot skip movies in modernism. Movie has shown gradual growth from drawing to pictures to motion pictures. Movie is today’s method to display message and entertainment through image. Variety of genre also account to the growth of movie through modernism. Movie theaters established for movies also represent modern culture very well.

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