Two stories by a leading Korean thinker explore the ambiguities of a rapidly changing culture. In The General’s Beard, a journalist tries to solve the mystery of a young photographer’s death. He explores hints from the dead man’s journal and interviews his former girlfriend but remains far from an explanation. In Phantom Legs, a young girl studying French literature meets a student wounded during demonstrations and begins an ambiguous relationship with him. An ironic commentary is provided by extracts from Stendhal’s romantic story Vanina Vanini, in which a countess saves the life of a rebel outlaw, with whom she falls in love.