5 thoughts on “Once the Shore: connecting threads

  • October 24, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Maybe “you are far away from home.” For all the reasons I outline in my post on displacement, but also just the fact that they are on an island–and for most of these characters, that island isn’t the place they were born or are “from.” (Think about all those Japanese characters…)

  • October 26, 2019 at 10:39 am

    “This is about as good a home as I can imagine.” I think the concepts of “home” and “unhomeliness,” like we talked about in class, are very central to all of the stories in this book. I think this phrase captures the book the best, because many of the stories end with characters finding a home or peace of some sort. And all of the stories revolve around the island or tie back to the island in some way, which acts as a kind of “home” for the whole book.

  • October 28, 2019 at 11:30 am

    I think the one that stands out to me is “‘I knew you once,’ she would think.” The ones about home and the concept thereof stand out, too, of course – I think this book, being set on one island over the course of a variety of places, would naturally emphasize the importance of home / setting / one’s environment. But every story in this book that I can think of centers a relationship that changes over time, or is changed by memory or history or circumstance. The memories people hold of one another intersect with their present selves, including the present selves of people who don’t have anything to do with one another initially – the man in the hospital, Taeho from the last story, Jim from the first. And I think those relationships, and the relationships that become changed or uncertain – Soni and Bey, the two of them and their son, Sojin and Kori – can all ultimately fall under the heading of “‘I knew you once,’ she will think.” In other words: once I knew you and not the memory of you.

  • October 30, 2019 at 9:27 am

    I think “a life was formed and she took it” is a good phrase to connect the chapters. I think it kind of encapsulates the concept of searching for and finding closure. I think every chapter tells the story of someone looking for something, some kind of life, and I think a good majority of them find it and confront it.

  • October 30, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    For me, I would choose “you are far away from home.” The reason being is that many of the characters in the short stories has a sense of identity loss. Whether is were the Japanese children or the Koreans that were born on the island. Perhaps this stems from not knowing where you stand in a country that is constantly changing. Once from Japanese occupation and then towards American intervention in their culture and politics.

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