I just posted this at the bottom of yesterday's "Sickening Face" post, but decided to make it a separate post as well.
We've seen the portrayal of the 'shiftless vagabond from France who teaches language and lives well in Korea' evolve in the August 21 Donga Ilbo article "Jibberish" and in "Sickening Face." As 'Jibberish' told us, "There was one penniless “French” young man. He was from “Lyon”. There he was a restaurant delivery boy." Note that the Le Monde article makes no mention of Lyon or restaurant delivery boys - these were made up by the Donga Ilbo. That article also mentions that this "French" young man came to Korea with only a "shabby suitcase" and that he "married a respectable Korean woman," which combines the stories of Luc and Pierre as told in Le Monde.
Now, in "Sickening Face," we're told of "A Parisian dishwasher living in Lyon [who] ended up flying to Korea." Lyon appears again, but this time the "French" young man is a dishwasher instead of a restaurant delivery boy. The intent is the same - to portray him as lowly as possible so that he is seen as being unworthy of marriage to a "maiden from a distinguished rich family." It also relies on the "Korea treats these foreigners too well" theme, as well as the "lucky foreign bastard" theme in portraying him as having a leg up because of his "exotic outward charm" and his mother tongue and also describing this marriage as having "made him a rich man overnight" - a theme seen in these well-known anti-English teacher comics (click on the first result). It also mentions that "Other Parisian dishwashers, shoe shiners, and car washers are calling en masse the Korean embassy in France," an obvious reference to this Joongang Ilbo article. The only problem is that the examples given in that article were of people who were all qualified to teach. At any rate, the reader should fear that more nice, rich girls are going to marry the 'French wave" of dishwashers, shoe shiners, and car washers about to wash over the peninsula.
As for how the writer feels about this, one need only look at the way the article moves from the story of the marriage between a foreign dishwasher to an adulterous couple, to "sickening" examples of hermaphrodites, fish species where the males parasitize females, " sexually-reproducing, impudent vertebrates," talk of anuses in strange places and wicked servants. It's interesting, however, that the last example he mentions is of "ask[ing] questions of sheep in wolf’s clothing." Since they are sheep, they aren't as dangerous as they're made out to be, and can be dealt with, something a Joongang Ilbo editorial had called for the day before "Sickening Face" was published, and the next translation to be posted in this series.
Konsoul & Holyday : MOD
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