Sunday, October 11, 2009

Park Wan-suh: Shinga again . . . briefly

All that Shinga:
Good for One's Constitution?
(Image from

I'm rather caught up in work this weekend, so today's post is mercifully brief. In re-reading Park Wan-suh's book for a third time, I've become alert to small differences of the sort that signal a writer's ambivalence. In this case, the ambivalence concerns Park's physical self-perception as an adolescent:
I had a hardy constitution, but was a twig. (page 131)
Later, she writes:
Ever since I was young, people said I had a strong constitution, but I lacked energy. I've never considered myself especially hardy. (page 153)
These don't precisely constitute a contradiction, but they definitely lean in different directions and thereby suggest the author's ambivalence about her condition.

Whatever Park may have thought of herself, however, the book demonstrates just how hardy her constitution was, for not many could have survived what she did.



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