Date of Degree
MA (Master of Arts)
This thesis examines how Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life (1999) represents the issues of war crimes. Writing the comfort women issue, Lee handles the bitter history of the Second World War in a postmodernist way. Against the modernist perspective on war history that draws on a simple and moral conclusion, Lee's writing underscores the function of narrative and the influence of trauma in the representation of the war crime. It offers a literary approach to the issue that complicates the role of the perpetrator and the victim, thus distances itself from the common understanding of war crimes. I argue this literary representation of the history of war crimes could be more powerful than historical writings, because it will ultimately challenge the concept of war itself.
Copyright 2010 Ying-bei Wang
Wang, Ying-bei. "History, narrative, and trauma: writing war crimes in Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture life." thesis, University of Iowa, 2010.