Seoul: Memory, Reinvention, and the Korean Wave

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Seoul is a colossus both in its physical presence and the demand it places on any intellectual effort to understand it. How did it come to be? How can a city this immense work? Underlying its spectacle and incongruities is a city that might be described as ill at ease with its own past. The bitter rifts of Japanese colonization persist, as does the troubled aftermath of the Korean War and its divisions; the economic "Miracle on the Han" that followed is crosscut by memories of the violent dictatorship that drove it. In ...

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