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FICTION

Read that Post Again: Scandal by Ha Jae-young

  • onOctober 23, 2014
  • Vol.10 Winter 2010
  • byJang Sungkyu
Scandal
2010
163pp.

Ha Jae-young is a young writer. She belongs to the generation more comfortable with the new media of the Internet and Twitter than print media, an ease that is apparent in her first novel, Scandal.

The narrative of Scandal is quite straightforward: an actress dies, and her death was somehow facilitated by rumors circulating on the Internet. In today’s post-industrial society, the truth is what is reconstructed out of numerous rumors. Nobody knows the truth of the scandal involving the dead actress. When the public accepts rumor as truth, however, and when the rumor spreads like wildfire via online comments, groundless rumor becomes accepted as truth. Messages in the new media are easily disseminated thanks to their anonymity, a process in which we as members of the general public often play at least a passive role.

Ha Jae-young’s work may appear superficial to some. Her work, however, offers much more than mere fluff or light satire of contemporary mores. Above all, her work focuses on what lies beyond the mores that govern our daily lives. Beyond the story of an actress’s death linked to a scandal is a razor-sharp intellect that cuts through the mechanism of how rumors and online comments distort and reconstruct “truth.” This is what saves Ha Jae-young’s Scandal from superficiality. The reader of Scandal is sure to think twice about taking online comments at face value in the future.