Hidden struggles: Presentations of Korea in translated Korean literature

Ester Torres-Simon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Interaction between images and cultural references can make illustrations, and especially book covers, become more than mere supplements to texts. In this study I analyze the topics, paratextual presentations and covers of Korean literature translated into English and published in the USA after the Korean War. I organize topics, discourses and images into four categories of analysis (Modernity, Tradition, Religion and Struggle) and I look into the relations between the four. I aim to discern, first, the main image presented of Korea in this corpus of publications. Second, I want to uncover to what extent these three categories, which may correspond to the three stages of the creation of a literary translation (selection – translation – marketing), have a common focus. Third, based on the results, I draw conclusions regarding the different visions of Korea and the agents involved in the translation of Korean literature. The results show contradictory presentations of the different agents involved with a common hidden discourse: Struggle.

Translated title of the contributionLucha escondida: La representación de Corea en la literatura coreana en traducción
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-384
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2015


  • Cultural identity
  • cultural representation
  • identity construction
  • Korean literature
  • minority languages
  • Republic of Korea


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