Translating the desire for escape from the past : An analysis of two English translations of Yi Sang’s “Ogamdo”


과거 도피의 욕망 번역하기 : 이상의 「오감도」와 두 영역본에 관한 분석

Choi, Seong-woo

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This study analyzes two 21st century English versions of Yi Sang’sserial poem, “Ogamdo,” to determine whether or not the translatorswere aware of the poet’s intent to divorce himself from the oldtradition. Yi Sang expresses his desire to break free from conventionthrough innovative techniques and experimental poetic forms in thepoems. His peculiar style may elicit extreme impressions that Yi Sang’sworks are too abstruse and vague or that they are just senseless playsupon words or puns. However, this study intends to show that they areintelligible and meaningful enough to be translated if a translatorholistically understands what the presuppositions of the author are. Among them, particularly focusing on the poet’s “desire for escape fromthe past,” this study considers whether or not the translators noted thepoet’s presupposition running through the entire series in relation toKorean modernism based on colonial modernity, and how they employedthe poet’s unique methods and techniques in order to convey thepresupposition and bring about the equivalent effects in English.


 I. Introduction
 II. Original Text “Ogamdo"
 III. The Translated Texts and the Translators
 IV. Analysis of the English Translation Texts
 V. Conclusion


  • Choi, Seong-woo 최성우. Y onsei University


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