This paper aims to investigate the rhetorical characteristics of topophilia in Lee, Moon-gu's works. Indeed, the hometown, especially the countryside and the rural, is represented in terms of harmony, beauty, stability, tradition, peace, innocence and virtue. However, the hometown has no fixed images, meanings or representations since it undergoes a rapid process of social and cultural changes, fundamentally as a consequence of modernization.
Lee, Moon-gu has come to understand his hometown (Gwanchon) as the site of lack and unease since 1960-70. Lee, Moon-gu experiences anxiety when he is confronted by the hometown which is destroyed in the course of modernization, and has consciousness of psychological homelessness (placelessness). We should note here that the act of Lee's novel writing is a defence against consciousness of psychological homelessness.
This paper argues that in this respect Lee's novel writing involves topophilia. The term ‘topophilia’ is usually used in the context of the affective bond between people and place or setting. From my viewpoint, however, topophilia means a defence which veils the lack in significant place. In other words, I emphasize the protective function of topophilia; topophilia is based on the fantasy of oneness with significant place.
Lee Moon-gu's works may thus be distinguished by the particular way in which they use rhetorical strategies to veil the lack in the hometown. For example, Lee's works use (1) the rhetoric of structure foregrounding the disclosure and (2) the rhetoric of double-narration. These rhetorical strategies constitute the most original feature of topophilia in Lee Moon-gu's works. After all, Lee Moon-gu's novel writing as topophilia enables him to sustain his desire for the hometown, Gwanchon.