Korean Literature: Its History and Development Directions


by Professor Lim Chaesuk, Ph.D.

Department of Product Design, Hyupsung University

Seoul, Korea


Emeritus Professor Yang-Taek Lim, Ph.D.

Hanyang University

Seoul, Korea




I. Introduction

II. History of Korean Literature

1.     Korean Modern Literature during the

Period of National Enlightenment

      1) Literature on ‘Strenuous Efforts to

Save the Country’

2) Literature for ‘Civilization and


2. Modern Literature under Japanese

 Colonial Rule Development

1)     Beginning of Modern Novels

2)     Moedrn Free Verse

3. Korean Modern Literature during the Period of Japanese Cultural Rule

   4. Korean Modern Literature during the Period of National Enlightenment Movement

      1) Nationalist Literature

      2) Socialist Literature

      3) Eclectic Literature

      4) Emergence of Pure Literature

   5. Koean Modern Literature during the Dark Ages

III. Development Direction of Korean

 Modern Literature



I. Introduction


Literature which is one of the important elements of culture refers to art with language as a means of expression of human’s sentiment. Originally, literature was a generic term for the studies such as pure literature, philosophy, historical studies, sociology, and linguistics besides the studies such as natural science or politics, law, and economics. However, nowadays, it simply means ‘pure literature.’


In particular, Poem which can be called ‘the flower of literature’ is a verse expressing the impressions felt from a human’s spiritual life and natural/social phenomena with succient language with cadence (rhythm and harmony). Poem is broadly classified into 3 types of poems : lyric poem, epic poem, and dramatic poem. Lyric poem[1] is an expression of an individual’s inner feelings and is the majority of modern poems. Epic poems[2] describe the history of a nation or a country in a novel-like way. Dramatic poems[3] refers to poetry taking on a form of a drama.


Poems are generally written by dividing up lines. In contrast, prose poems[4] take on the form of a prose yet is instilled with poetic impressions.  In addition to these, there are poetry with a fixed form arranging and constituting poetic words according to a fixed rule, and free verse which completely disregards the formal rules. 


Against the aforementioned background, this paper is an attempt by ‘an anonymous literatist’ to search for the development direction of Korean modern literature by taking a general overview and a comparison of the history of Western literature and Oriental(referring to Korean in this paper) literature. Before going into the text, the author would like to mention the two points as follows :   


First, in order to make a more detailed comparsion between the history of Western and Oriental literature, the difference in their philosophies may have to be understood. However, because this breaks away from the goal and limitation of the analysis of this paper mentioned earlier, it is substituted with a paper by Lim(2008)[5].


Second, when making a brief overview of the history of Western and Oriental literature, it would be ideal to introduce Chinese literature[6]. However, the history of Oriental literature will be discussed on the basis of Korean literature because it is truly difficult for Chinese literature to be property translated into English. In fact, such work is beyond the scope of the current work.



  II. Brief Review of Western Literature


Along with the emergence of Christianity during the 14th century, medieval literature in Europe enjoyed the futility of the present life and eternity of the next life. The representative works include “The Divine Comedy : Divina Commedia” by Dante Alightieri(1318)[7].


By the era of modern country during the 15~16th century, William Shakespeare (1564~1616) and Miguel de Cervantes (Saavedra)(1547~1616) were in action. First of all, Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, and has written a total of 37 plays and collection of poems as a great writer. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was written according to ‘The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet’ by Arthur Brooke (? ~1563) in 1594. It was the first work that recited a romantic tragedy. ‘Hamlet’ (1601) is one of the 4 major tragedies of Shakespeare along with ‘Othello,’ ‘King Lear,’ and ‘Macbeth.’ It is about taking the revenge of the father king who was robbed of his throne. the revenge tragedy was popular at the time which recited the human anguish of prince Hamlet. ‘Othello’ (1604) realistically and strongly depicted a human’s love and jealousy. ‘King Lear’ (1605) narrated a tragedy between King Lear and his three daughters. Even King Lear realized that human is a mere animal. Macbeth’ (1605) drew upon the life of a Scottish general named Macbeth.


Next, ‘Don Quixote’ (1605) by Miguel de Cervantes was a satirical novel by the Spanish author, Cervantes. The official title of the novel is ‘The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha.’ Although the lunacy and fantasy of chivalry by the main character suffers a miserable and cruel defeat as it collides with reality, his courage and noble cause is undaunted. It is praised as the first and the best novel that depicted a real human being.


During the process of establishing French classicism in the 17th century, an ideal human character was pursued.  An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) by John Locke (1632~1704) emphasized experience while criticizing the unreasonable presupposition of existing modern rationalism (existence of innate ideas and universal truth) by Rene Descartes(1596~1950), and has presented a new direction of studying modern philosophy by suggesting a new standard of truth. Furthermore, Two Treatises of Civil Government (1690) by Locke and Du contrat social (1762) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712~1778) have justified the political organization of citizens based on new political requests at the time.  From these ideas by Locke and Rousseau, belief on representative democracy and belief on freedom of citizens and dignity of man, in other words, the sprout of all modern can be seen.[8]


Romaticism which claimed the superiority of emotion over reason emerged in the late 18th century. The representative theorist and author at the time was Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712~1778). He became the pioneer of Western ‘Modern Literature’ due to his biography, ‘Les Confessions’ (1712).


Due to the influence of Romanticism, works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749~1832) such as ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ and ‘Faust’ were born. Especially, ‘Faust’ (1806) is the greatest masterpiece of world literature which is a two-part drama written by devoting the entire life of Goethe (1806~1831), the greatest writer in Germany. In this work, there is a religious thinking that if a human continues to work hard for endless self-improvement, they eventually receive salvation. 


It is worthwlile to note that at the time during the 16th century, Goethe’s biographical literature showed that a human personality and behavior can be in harmony with refinement in contrast to Shakespeare and Cervantes was unaware of ‘the discord between human personality and behavior.’ 


In the 19th century, the bourgeoisie who newly emerged during the process of revolution in politics and the industrial sector attempted to find their self-portrait in literature. Honoré de Balzac depicted the life and destiny of a human being as a member of society rather than individuality or character. Due to this influence, ‘Modern Novel’ originating from Cervantes grew significantly. The emphasis was on the fact that even in literature, poems gradually faded and prose came to be more dominant along with the establishment of a bourgeois society,[9] and reflecting this trend, novels written in prose became the typical form of literature in modern times.


The direction of 20th century Western literature can be said to be determined by the great Russian writers, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoi(1828~1910) and Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevskii (1821~1881). Both of these writers wrote world class masterpieces which delved deep into human behavior and pursued the extreme limits of human psychology. 


First of all, Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ (1869) was written for 7 years from 1863. This is an excellent fusion of historical novel and artistic novel as a work depicting the Russian people’s uprising in the liberation war. ‘Anna Karenina’ (1875) is a full-length novel by Tolstoy which draws on the marriage of Russian aristocrats during the 19th century. This novel is permeated with the futility of life and fear about death than admiration for life.[10]


The next work, ‘Crime and Punishment’ (1866) by Dostoyevsky is a world-class masterpiece about a poor college dropout murdering an old pawnbroker who is considered a cancerous being and depicts the recovery of an alienated humanity. ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ (1879) is the last full-length novel of Dostoyevsky. This work is also a masterpiece which shows enormous scale and elaborates composition about ideological and religious issues and contemplation about the essence of a human-being which has tormented the author throughout his life.[11]


  III. History of Korean Literature


Korean medieval literature begins from the era of the Three Kingdoms(4th century~mid 7th century). The 300 years from the Japanese Invasion (1592~1598) to the time period right before the March 1st Independence movement in 1919 can be said to be the transitional period from midieval literature to modern literature.[12] A typical example was 'Songgang Gasa(Songgang’s Prose Poetry Book) by the poet Songgang Jeong Cheol(1536~1593) during the reign of King Seonjo of Joseon dynasty. This was a collection of poems compiling prose and sijo(traditional three-verse Korean poem) all of which had such artistic value that they were recorded as great works in the history of Korean literature.


Since the late 17 th century, Korean literature started breaking away from the feudal system amidst the various changes in society.[13] For example, there was ‘Tale of Honggil-dong’ by Gyosan Heo Gyun, which was written during the reign of Gwanghaegun of Joseon(reigned 1608~1623) [14]. Under the influence of the Chinese novel, ‘Water Margin,’ this novel was the first ‘Korean novel’ which was a rendering of the author's revolutionary ideas for reforming corrupt politics and breaking down the flaws of the social system after the Japanese Invasion (1592~1958). The most serious flaw was the difference in class of legitimate children and illegitimate children. The major story is as follows. The main character, Gildong born between minister Hong and his maid Chunseom was always treated with contempt while growing up. He was smart and very learned. So he knew how to conjure up wind and rain and the art of transforming himself. However, he couldn’t endure the disdain from his family and left his home to join the den of bandits where he became a ringleader who organized ‘Hwalbindang’(活貧黨), i.e., a band of Robin Hoods. By harassing the Yangban class and helping the poor peasants with stealing unjust riches from corrupt officials and landed gentry, he inevitably became a War Minister due to the appeasement of the government. But he eventually departed his homeland for Nanking(南京). On his way, he settled down at the nation of Yul-do and built an ideal kingdom.


Furthermore, ‘Kuwoonmong’(九雲夢) (Nine Clouds’ Dream) by Seopo Kim Manjoong (1637~1692) during the late Joseon dynasty (13th year of the reign of King Sukjong) is greatly acknowledged as the ‘ancient novel’ of Korea.[15] The theme of the work is like the following.  The main character Seonjin was the pupil of Yukgwandaesa. But due to his crime of harassing eight Taoist fairies, he was born into the human world with the name, ‘Yang Soyu'(楊少游). He passed the higher civil service examination as a boy and suppressed the revolt of Samjin and Tibetan Empire of Hebei, and for his meritorious deed, he was revered and installed as Duke, and became the son-in-law of the King. Up until then, he met the eight reincarnations of the eight Taoist fairies one after another and took them as wives. While living abundantly, he felt life was meaningless and reached great enlightenment after listening to a Buddhist sermon, and converted to Buddhism. Kuwoonmong’ is considered an immortal work in the literary history of Korean ancient novel. It had a lot of influence in the later generations and became the foundation of ‘Okrumong,’ and ‘Okryeonmong,’ 


During the 18th century, ‘Hanjungrok’(閑中錄)[16] by Hyegyeong-gung Hong(惠慶宮 洪氏, 1735~1815), the wife of Prince Successor ‘Sado’, can be called the beginning of Korean modern literature. ‘Hanjungrok’ unfolds with ‘Imohwabeon,' the murder of Princess Successor ‘Sado’ which happened in the 38th year of King Yeongjo’s reign (1762) as the background[17].

In the meantime, ‘Changjo’(Feb. 1919~May 1921) was the starting point of Joseon ‘New Literature.’[18] In fact, the March 1st Independence Movement in 1919 was the beginning of Korean modern history,[19] and it was especially not only the turning point of Joseon New Literature[20] but also the genuine beginning of Korean New Literature.[21]


The early poets during the 1920s usually published their works in literary coterie magazines starting with ‘Changjo’(Creation) and leading to ‘Paeheo’(Ruins), ‘Janmichon’(Rose Village), and ‘Baekjo’(Swan). These people commonly stressed the expression of emotions through ‘free verse.’ In other words, the inner will which wanted to free the suppressed emotions as a resistance to the moralite of the themes or entrapment of forms shown by poems during the period of national enlightenment erupted.


The representative poets who embodied the traditional sentiment of the nation during the mid 1920s can be said to be Kim Sowol(金素月, 1902~1934) and Han Yongun(韓龍雲, 1879~1944).  The reason for which their works are loved regardless of whether the reader is a beginner or an expert in poems is because their poems is easily understood by any Korean and give a desperate impression.     


From his early days of poem composition, Kim Sowol who can be really called the ‘national poet’ showed deep interest in folk-song style lyric poetry.  The examples of his poetry include ‘Azaleas,’ ‘Mountain Flowers(Sanyuhwa),’ ‘On One’s Way,’ ‘Parents,‘Chohon’(evocation), ‘Golden Turf,’ ‘Mountain,’ ‘The Distant Future,’ and ‘The Cuckoo(Jeopdongsae).’ Kim Sowol particularly made appropriate use of 3 metres and 4 metres of folk songs to expand poetic concepts, and provided a concrete form to the inner mind based on the emotion. Furthermore, he expanded the base of poetic materials and refines emotion through the use of appropriate vocabulary. Such command of language and sensational ideas were an expression of new sensitivity difficult to obtain with just a modification of traditional emotions.


It should be emphasized that Kim Sowol overcame the instability of poetic structure shown by other modern poems. For instance, in his ‘Azalea,’ written in 1922, he straightened the poetic concept through a simple yet well-organized structure, and maximized the effect by combining the concept with a familiar traditional rhythm.


Meanwhile, Han Yongun released his poems to the world by compiling them in a collection of poems called ‘Nimui Chimmuk’ in 1926. His poems pursued the meaning of practical life and deeply reflects on the goal of an individual's life in historical conditions.  His poems were instilled into the enlightened will trying to establish a definite status of an ego in reality. Such enlightened will was expressed as a national consciousness. It is worthwhile to note the fact that Han Yongun as a poet was unique in the following aspects : He was neither active in the sphere of influence of the new literature movement which was actively unfolding during the times, nor participate in specific literary circle activities. He wrote poems in his own literary world.  


 1. Korean Modern Literature in the Period of National Enlightenment


In the period of national enlightenment, Korean literature is broadly divided up into two types by reflecting such duality. One is ‘enlightened songs,’ ‘historical biographies,’ ‘enlightened mongyoorok,’ and ‘devotional novels’ by the authors who were former reformed Confucianists emphasizing ‘Strenuous Efforts to Save the Country.’ The other type includes ‘songs,’ ‘new style poetry,’ and ‘new novels’ by authors who were former Japanese international students putting ‘civilization and enlightenment’ first.



  1) Literature on ‘Strenuous Efforts to Save the Country’


The literature taking the thought of ‘Strenuous Efforts to Save the Country’ as its foundation emphasized the anti-foreign aspect. In contract, the literature based on civilization and enlightenment ideas lay stress on the aspect of anti-feudalistic ideas as it tries to actively take in modern culture.


The representative work of the Korean literature on ‘strenuous efforts to save the country’ include ‘Korean national anthem’[22] by Jeon Gyeongtae, ‘Dongsimga’[23] by Lee Jungwon, and ‘Maegukgyeongchukga,’[24] and ‘Uijangcheongjo’[25] by Songcheon private school students.

Shin Chaeho(申采浩, 1880~1936) released historical biographies such as ‘Eulji Mundeok,’ ‘Story of General Yi Sunshin,’ and ‘Story of Choi Dotong’ telling stories about heroes who saved the nation and elevated the spirit of the nation from the Japanese invasion.

Park Eunsik(朴殷植, 1859~1925) published a translation called ‘Founding of Swiss Republic’[26] and released ‘Story of Cheon Gaesomun,’ and ‘Mongbaegumtaejo’ in 1911. 


  2) Literature for ‘Civilization and Enlightenment’


Gukcho(菊初) Lee Injik(李人稙, 1862~1916)[27], the representative author of new-style novel is a new-style novel author as well as a journalist who pioneered new-style novels with the unity of speech and writing with a strong prosaicness for the first time in Korea. His major works besides his representative work, ‘Hyulnu’(tears of blood)(血淚)[28] include ‘Gwi Seong(鬼聲)’(Ghost Sound)[29], ‘Moranbong’(牡丹峰)[30], ‘Chiaksan’(雉岳山)[31], and ‘Silver World.’[32] He has also written short stories such as ‘Binseonrang(貧鮮郞)  Ilmiin(日美人).’


‘Tears of Blood’ is Korea’s first new-style novel which was published in series in ‘Mansaebo News’(萬歲報) in 1906. While there were well-known or unknown new-style novels prior to that, it can be said to be the first representative work as the first ‘modern novel’ in recognition of its cultural value.


‘Moranbong’(牡丹峰) was also published as a series in ‘Maeil Sinbo’(每日申報) in 1913 but to ended as an unfinished work. The themes are as follows : When Sino-Japanese War(Jun. 1894~April 1895) swept over Pyeongyang in 1894, the 7 year old heroine Okryeon(玉蓮) lost her parents and was injured while fleeing. But she was saved by a Japanese soldier and with the help of an army surgeon Inoue(井上), she went over to Japan to attend an elementary school. However, when the army sergeon Inoue was kill in action, his wife abused Okryeon. While lost and unable to find a place to go to, she met Gu Wanseo and went over to the US. When Okryeon was studying in Washington, she dramatically met her father and was engaged with Gu Wanseo. Meanwhile, in Pyeongyang, her mother, upon receiving a letter from her daughter whom she thought was dead, felt like it's a dream to come true. It was the intention of the author(Lee Injik) that he tried to present a moral of the new era by taking the theme of yearning for a civilized society and common-law marriage. 


In the meantime, the representative figure in new style poetry is Yukdang(六堂) Choi Namseon(崔南善, 1890~1957) and his major work would be the new style poem titled ‘From Sea to a Boy’(1908). This new style poem is the first ‘modern poem’ of Korea, which was put in a comprehensive magainze called ‘Sonyeon’(Youth) in 1908. The first part of the poem begins with an onomatopoeic words, “Cheolseok Cheolseok Cheok Swaaa,” and takes on a form of a free-style poem different from the previous Korean poems.


First, from the aspect of form, there is the limitation of not being able to completely overcome the appearance of poetry with a fixed form which uses the repeating number of characters like the traditional three-verse Korean poems.


Next, from the aspect of content, it has the limitation of encouraging the civilization and enlightenment, not an individual’s lyricism.


Because Choi Namseon was a figure who played a leading role in taking in modern culture during the period of enlightenment, his ideas was evident in his poem, ‘From Sea to a Boy.’ ‘Sea’ means a new world for which one is trying to reach through civilization and enlightenment, and ‘A Boy’ can be interpreted as a hero of a new civilized world.


The authors would like to emphasize that ‘new style poetry’ in Korea was led by a strong foreign orientation. As a result, almost all of the works praised the new era and new civilization. This style of poem used more oral vocabulary than ‘Gaehwa Gasa or Changga’(A Japanese folk song at that time) and divided up lines and stanzas. However, since it is not completely broken away from the previous form of poetry yet, new style of poetry in Korea may not be called a completely-new style of poems in the aspect of its content and form, it shows some form of free style poetry in the introductory part of a poem from the aspect of form. It is the transitional form of poetry which had a big influence in the development of Korean ‘modern poetry’.


  2. Korean Modern Literature under Japanese Colonial Rule Development


  1) Beginning of Modern Novels


Chunwon(春園) Lee Gwangsu(李光洙, 1892~1950) stressed anti-feudalistic consciousness and modern awakening while claiming literature was an expression of ‘affection’. During the 1910s,[33] he had released short stories like ‘Mujeong,’[34] ‘Young Sacrifice,’[35] ‘Dedicator,’[36] ‘Kim Gyeong,’[37] ‘Sorrow of a Boy,’[38] ‘To a Young Friend,’[39] ‘Wandering,’[40] and ‘Yun Gwangho’.[41]


Especially, ‘Mujeong’(無情)[42] can be evaluated as a ‘modern novel’ since it is Korea's first full-length modern novel. The storyline of this novel is as follows : Lee Hyeongsik, English teacher at Gyeongseong School in Seoul gradually began to have feelings for Seonhyeong, the daughter of elder Kim while giving her private English lessons. Yeongchae was his childhood friend and the daughter of Mr. Park who used to adore him. Yeongchae confessed her love for him. At the time, Yeongchae became a Gisaeng (Korean geisha) to save her father who was imprisoned. Afterward, when Yeongchae lost her virginity to Gyeongseong School superintendent Mr. Bae, she left a suicide note to Hyeongsik and disappeared without a trace. In the meantime, Yeongchae was about to commit suicide and met Byeongwuk who was studying abroad in Tokyo and changed her mind. She left Japan to study music and dance. The engaged couple, Hyeongsik and Seonhyeong went to study abroad in the US. They were on their way to study abroad on the same train. They made a promise to themselves that they would work hard to spread civilized ideas after they finish their studies abroad and return to their homeland.


Indeed, ‘Muheong’(無情) not only makes readers at the time pay extra attention with the theme of yearning for modern civilization, new educational ideas, and praise of free love but also is praised as a work with a pioneering significance of signaling the start of Korean modern literature. Thus, this novel shows the view and vitality of the adventurous young generation and positively presents the national enlightenment awareness as well as desperately actualizing deep sorrow of the nation. In addition, the railroad and the train, which were the symbol of modern civilization at the time, form the foundation for unfolding the work, and the idea of free love is fully expressed through a love triangle.


  2) Modern Free Verse


Kim Eark, Hwang Seokwu, and Ju Yohan have made important contributions in introducing the form of ‘free verse’ based on significant influence from the Western symbolism poetry during the early stages.


Kim Eark(金億, 1896~?) released early free verses such as ‘Spring is gone,’ and ‘Grave’ on Taeseomunyesinbo(Western Literature and Arts), Nov. 30, 1918.


Hwang Seokwu(黃錫禹, 1895~1960) published works such as ‘Lover comes to the Snow,’[43] ‘Sogok,’ ‘Grave of Byukmo,’[44] ‘Sinking of the Sun,’ ‘Guidance of My Lover,’ and ‘Palace of Eumrak’ similar to Japanese free verses and translation of foreign poems. They continued to dominately express the emotion of despondency, uneasiness, and cursing. the poetic structure was unstable, its cadence was imprecise, and chaotic phrases are jumbled up. 


Ju Yohan released ‘Sinae,’ five volumes of ‘Spring,’ ‘Snow,’ and ‘Story’ under the big title, ‘Etude’ in ‘Hakwoo,’[45] and published ‘Fireworks,’ ‘Midnight Dream,’ ‘Days of Sun,’ and ‘Morning Virgin.’ He published in 1924 his collection of poems called ‘Beautiful Midnight’ contains 64 poems including ‘Spring Water Alone.’ His poems drew closer to readers by using the emotions and vocabulary of the Korean people.  


Editor’s Note: Part II this two-part paper

will be presented in the following issue of this Journal. -JP








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Baek Nakcheong (1969), Citizen’s Literature Theory, Seoul : Creation & Critism.

Cho Dongil (1982), ‘Introductory History to Korean Literature’, Volume 1~5, Jisik Sanup Publication Co., Ltd. `

Eom Muwung (1978), Issue of Overcoming Colonial Literary Viewpoint, Seoul : Creation & Criticisim.

Kim Gijin (1958), 30 years we have walked, Seoul : Sasanggye.

Kim Dongin (1948), Traces of 30 Years of the Literature World, Seoul : Sincheonji.

Kim Hyeon and Kim Yunsik (1972), History of Korean Literature, Seoul : Culture & Intellect

Park Jonghong, Overview on History of Korean Modern Literature,

Yeom Sangseop (1927), ‘Literature & Arts and Life,’ Chosunmundan No.19, February Issue

Yeom Sangseop (1927), “A Spiritual Study of National Social Movement,” Chosunilbo.

Yeom Sangseop (1962), “Hwaengbo Mundan Hwaesanggi,” Seoul : Sasanggye.

Lim Yangtaek (2008), “A Study on the Logical Structure of Neopregmatism : Eastern and Western Philosophy”, Hanyang Journal of Economic Studies volume 29 no.2, Hanyang Economic Research Institute, Nov. 30.


[1] Lyric poem originated from the English, ‘lyric poem’ or the French, poéme lyrique’ stemmed from singing according to ‘lyre’ (七絃琴).

[2] The examples of an epic poem are ‘Ilias’ and ‘Odysseia’ of Greece and ‘La Chanson de Roland’ of France.

[3] The examples of dynamic poem are plays(戱曲) written by Shakspeare, Goethe, Corneille, and Racine.

[4] The examples of prose poem include ‘Le Spleen de Paris’ by Charles-Pierre Baudelaire(1821~1867), ‘Le Chants de Maldoror’ by Comte de Lautréamont(1846~1870), ‘Poems in Prose’ by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev(1818~1883), etc.

[5] Lim Yangtaek (2008), “A Study on the Logical Structure of Neopregmatism : Eastern and Western Philosophy based on Western and Oriental Philosophy, Hanyang Journal of Economic Studies Vol. 29 No. 2, Hanyang Economic Research Institute, Nov. 30.

[6] It is generally known that, in Chinese literature, the three literary geniuses: Tao Qin(陶淵明, 365~427), Li Bai(李白, 701~762), and Du Fu(杜甫, 712~770) were the most noticeable. “Return to Home Country(405),” a representative work of Tao Qin(陶淵明), a Chinese poet during Eastern Jin and Song Dynasty, was a poem about the feelings of abandoning one’s government service and returning to one’s hometown. Li Bai(李白) is a poet who was active during the golden age of Tang Dynasty and is praised as a Shiseon(詩仙) as the best Chinese poet along with Du Fu. Li Bai recited about 1,100 poems currently in existence and showed a poetical style in which his words became a poem. Du Fu is also a top poet during the heydays of Tang Dynasty, and is called ‘the Poetic Saint.’(詩聖)

[7] The Italian author and philosopher, Dante Alightieri (1265~1321) wrote “The Divine Comedy”(Divina Commedia)(1318) about the sorrow of losing a woman whom one loved named ‘Beatrice.’ The Divine Comedy was divided up into 3 parts: hell, purgatorium, and heaven. The Toscana regional dialect used in this work was established as the top language of Italian Literature.

[8] Lim Yangtaek(2008), op. cit.

[9] The French poet, Paul Valery(1871~1945) explained the difference between poetry and prose by comparing the former to ‘dancing’ and the latter to ‘walking’. In other words, prose has a clear subject like walking which aims to reaching a target as an act towards a subject. On the other hand, the ultimate purpose of poetry is the act itself like dancing. However, walking and dancing have something in common. Both use the ‘body’. When applying this to poetry and prose, both use ‘language’. That is to say, the language used in poetry, that is, poetic language move the heart of readers. On the other hand, the language used in prose is a practical language with the major purpose of communicating meaning and symbol.

[10] In order to properly understand the work of Tolstoy, there is a need to closely examine his life. Tolstoy was an aristocrat born in count’s family. Although he lost his mother when he was young, he grew up in a rich environment. He set up a harmonious family with a young wife he met during his mid-30s. He churned out his works while taking care of his territory and working hard to manage his finance. He was not sensitive to his reputation or the response of his readers and didn’t have a sense of rivalry to authors in the same era like Dostoevskii. Later on, according to his confession, literature was just ‘a pastime’ of a rich count (Chosun Ilbo, Dec. 23, 2009).

[11] The life of Dostoevskii is like the following. Dostoevskii who was from a poor class gave up on entering public service even though he graduated from a good university and went into the path of ‘proletarian writer’ at an early age as he said. He was constantly tormented by a sense of inferiority while suffering the humiliation of getting less pay for his writings than aristocrat authors. He was also branded a political prisoner as well as an epileptic and a gambling addict. To him, literature was a lifeline that supported him in his unfortunate circumstances (Chosun Ilbo, Dec. 23, 2009).

[12] Cho Dongil, Introductory History to Korean Literature Volume 1~5, Seoul: Jisik Sanup Publication Co., Ltd., 1982~1988.

[13] Eom Muwung (1978), Issue of Overcoming Colonial Literary Viewpoint, Seoul: Creation & Criticisim, Winter Issue.

[14] Gyosan(蛟山) Heo Gyun(許筠) served as the Jwachamchan(左參贊, a post of the second junior rank under the State Council) during the reign of Prince Gwanghae(1608~1623) but was executed by slow slicing for treason.

[15] Yi Jae(李縡) said in “Samkwanki”(三官記), “Kim Manjung was devoted to his parents and wrote ‘The Cloud Dream of the Nine’ in order to comfort his mother.” <0} {0> 작품은 한문본과 한글본이 모두 전하는데, 한글작품이 한문작품보다 앞선 것인지의 여부는 단정하기 어렵다.<}0{>Both the Chinese version and Korean version of this work are passed down, and it is difficult to tell if the Korean version precedes the Chinese version.<0} {0>《구운몽》의 전래본(傳來本) 국문사본(國文寫本국문간행본·한문사본·한문간행본·번역본(飜譯本) 등으로 분류할 있다.<}0{>The traditional version of ‘The Cloud Dream of the Nine’ can be classified into the Korean copy version, the Korean published version, the Chinese published version, and the translated version.<0} {0> 중에서 국문간행본과 여러 종류의 활판본이 유포되어 왔고, 국문사본으로는 이가원(李家源) 소장본이 1955 덕기출판사(德基出版社)에서 발행되었다.<}0{>Among these, the Korean published version and various types of printed books have been circulated, and for the Korean copy version, the Lee Gawon(李家源) collection version was published in Deokgi Publishing Company(德基出版社) in 1955. <0} {0>한문간행본으로는 1803년에 출간된 목판본 6 3책이 유포되어 왔고, 한문현토본(漢文懸吐本) 1916년에 활판본으로 출간되었다.<}0{>For the Chinese published versions, there 3 books of 6 volumes of block books published in 1803, and the Chinese 漢文懸吐本 was published as a printed book in 1916. <0} {0> 밖에 외국어 번역본으로는 1922년에 기일(J.<}0{>Other translations include a translation into <0} {0>S Gale) 의해서 The Cloud Dream of the Nine」이라는 이름으로 영역되었고, 일역본(日譯本) 2종이 있다.<}0{>English under the name, The Cloud Dream of the Nine by J. S. Gale in 1922, and there were also 2 types of Japanese translations as well.<0} {0>현재 전하는 가운데 가장 오래된 것은 서울대학교 도서관 소장본인 4 4책으로 국문필사본으로, 다른 한글본이나 한문본보다 연대가 앞서는 것으로 추정된다.<}0{>The oldest among the ones that are currently passed down are the Korean manuscripts consisting of 4 books and 4 volumes which are owned by Seoul National University library. It is presumed to be an earlier version than other Korean versions or Chinese versions.  <0} {0>언어·문체 등이 우아한 것으로 보아 김만중 시대와 그리 멀리 떨어지지 않은 듯하여 김만중 원작일 가능성도 있다.<}0{>It seems to be not too distant from the era of Kim Manjung due to its elegant language and writing style. It might even be the original work of Kim Manjung.

[16] Joongang Sunday, Jan. 10, 2010.

[17]Hanjungrok’ consist of four volumes. Volume 1 was written during the 19th year of King Jeongjo’s reign when princess Hong was 60 years old. Volume 2 and Volume 3 were written during the 1st and 2nd year of King Sunjo when she was 67~68 years old (1801~1802). Volume 4 was written during the 5th year of Sunjo’s reign(1805) when she was 71 years old. Kim Hyeon & Kim Yunsik (1972), “History of Korean Literature”, Culture & Intellect, 1972 Spring edition ~ 1973 Winter edition.

[18] Kim Dongin (1948), “Traces of 30 Years of the Literature World”, Sincheonji.

[19] Kim Gijin (1958), ’30 years we have walked,’ Sasanggye, 1958 August edition

[20] Yeom Sangseop (1962), ‘Hwaengbo Mundan Hwaesanggi,’ Sasanggye, Nov.~Dec. 1962

[21] It was newly examined in ‘Citizen’s Literature Theory’ by Baek Nakcheong (Creation & Criticism, 1969 Summer Edition). <0} {0>그러나 갑오경장(甲午改革, 18941896)이나 갑오농민전쟁(1894) 민중과 분리되어 진정한 시민의식을 갖추지 못한 운동이라고 비판하였다.<}0{>However, it criticized that Gabo Reform(甲午改革, 1894~1896) or Donghak Peasant Revolution(1894) is a movement without a genuine civic awareness and was separated with the general public.

[22] Tongnip Sinmun(The Korea Independence Daily News), 1896.<0} 5.

[23] Tongnip Sinmun(The Korea Independence Daily News), 1896.<0} 5.

[24] Daehan Maeil Sinbo(The Korea Daily News), 1905.<0} 12.

[25] Daehan Maeil Sinbo(The Korea Daily News), 1908.<0} 10.

[26] Daehan Maeil Sinbo(The Korea Daily News), 1907.

[27] Gukcho(菊初) Lee Injik(李人稙, 1862~1916), following his role as the chief editor of ‘Kukmin Shinbo’(國民新報) on February 1906 and the chief editor of ‘Mansaebo’(萬歲報) in June of the same year, became the president of ‘Daehan Shinmunsa’(大韓新聞社). <0}{0>그러나 국권피탈(1910 8 22) 이완용(李完用) 돕고 다이쇼(大正) 일본왕 즉위식에 헌송문(獻頌文) 바치는 철저한 친일행동으로 오점을 남겼다.<}0{>However, he left a blemish in his life with his strictly pro-Japanese acts such as helping Yi Wanyong(李完用) when Korea was robbed of its national sovereignty(Aug. 22, 1910) and presenting a tribute(獻頌文) to the coronation ceremony of the Japanese King, Taisyo(大正).

[28] Mansaebo, Jul. 22, 1906~Oct. 10, 1906

[29] Volume 1 was published by Gwanghakseopo in 1907 and Volume 2 was published by Jungangseokwan.

[30] Maeilshinbo, Feb. 5, 1913~Jun. 3, 1913

[31] Volume 1 was published by Yuilseokwan in 1908 under the name of Lee Injik, and Volume 2 was published by Dongyangseowon in 1911 under the name of Kim Gyojae.

[32] Dongmunsa, 1908.

[33] Chunwon(春園) Lee Gwangsu(李光洙) was born in Jeongju(定州), Pyeonganbukdo, now the North Korean Territory.<0} {0>소작농 가정에 태어나 1902 부모를 잃고 고아가 동학(東學) 들어가 서기(書記) 되었으나 관헌의 탄압이 심해지자 1904 상경하였다.<}0{>He was born from a tenant farmer’s family and lost his parents and became an orphan in 1902. Afterwards, he became a clerk by joining Donghak(東學). But due to the severe oppression of the authorities, he moved to Seoul in 1904. <0}In t{0>이듬해 친일단체 일진회(一進會) 추천으로 도일, 메이지(明治)학원에 편입하여 공부하면서 소년회(少年會) 조직하고 회람지 「소년」을 발행하는 한편 시와 평론 등을 발표하기 시작했다.<}0{>he following year, he fled to Japan by the recommendation of Il Jin Hoi, a pro-Japanese organization. Then, he transferred to Meiji School and organized ‘Sonyeonhoi’(少年會) and published ‘Sonyeon’(少年). while studying there. In the meantime, he started releasing poems and reviews.<0} {0>1910 동교를 졸업하고 일시 귀국하여 오산학교(五山學校)에서 교편을 잡다가 재차 도일, 와세다(早稻田)대학 철학과에 입학, 1917 1 1일부터 한국 최초의 근대 장편소설 「무정」(無情) 「매일신보(每日申報)」에 연재하여 소설문학의 새로운 역사를 개척하였다.<}0{>In 1910, he graduated the same school and temporarily returned to his homeland and taught at Osan School(五山學校). Then, he fled to Japan again and entered the department of philosophy at Waseda University. He published a series of Korea’s first full-length novel titled ‘Mujeong’(無情) in ‘Maeilshinbo’(每日申報) and pioneered the new history of Korean novel literature. <0}{0>1919 도쿄(東京) 유학생의 2·8독립선언서를 기초한 상하이(上海) 망명, 임시정부에 참가하여 독립신문사 사장을 역임했다.<}0{>After drafting the Feb. 8 declaration of independence by Tokyo international students in 1919, he defected to Shanghai and was the former president of ‘Tongnip Sinmun’(獨立新聞) by participating in the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. <0} {0>1921 4 귀국하여 허영숙(許英肅) 결혼하였고, 1923 「동아일보」에 입사하여 편집국장을 지내고, 1933 「조선일보」 부사장을 거치는 언론계에서 활약하면서 「재생」(再生), 마의태자」(麻衣太子), 「단종애사」(端宗哀史), 「흙」 많은 작품을 썼다.<}0{>Upon returning to his homeland on April 1921, he married Heo Yeongsuk(許英肅) and joined ‘Donga Ilbo’(東亞日報) in 1923 and served as chief editor. While being active in the press such as being the vice-president of ‘Chosun Ilbo’(朝鮮日報) in 1933, he wrote many works including ‘Jaesaeng’(再生), ‘Mauitaeja’(麻衣太子), ‘Danjongaesa’(端宗哀史), and ‘The Soil.’() <0} {0>1937 수양동우회(修養同友會) 사건으로 투옥되었다가 만에 병보석되었는데, 이때부터 본격적인 친일 행위로 기울어져 1939년에는 친일어용단체인 조선문인협회(朝鮮文人協會) 회장이 되었으며 가야마 미쓰로(香山光郞)라고 창씨개명을 하였다.<}0{>He was imprisoned for the ‘Suyang Dongwuhoi(修養同友會) incident’ in 1937 but was released for sick bail in just 6 months. From then on, he seriously leaned towards pro-Japanese activities. In 1939, he became the chairman of Joseon Writer’s Association(朝鮮文人協會), a pro-Japanese group, and changed his Korean name to a Japanese name, Gayama Mitsuro(香山光郞). <0} {0>8·15 광복 반민법으로 구속되었다가 병보석으로 출감했으나 6·25전쟁 납북되었다.<}0{>He was detained by the Anti-Nationalist Law after the August 15 liberation from the Japanese Imperialism and was released on sick bail but was abducted to North Korea during the Korean War.<0} {0>그간 생사불명이다가 1950 만포(滿浦)에서 병사한 것으로 확인되었다.<}0{>He died from an illness at Manpo(滿浦) in 1950.

[34] Daehan Hunghakbo No.11~12, Mar.~Apr. 1910.

[35] Sonyeon No.14~17, Feb.~May 1910.

[36] Sonyeon No.20, Aug. 1910.

[37] Cheongchun No.6, Mar. 1915.

[38] Cheongchun No.8, Jun. 1917.

[39] Cheongchun No.9~11, Sept.~Nov. 1917.

[40] Cheongchun No.12, Mar. 1918.

[41] Cheongchun No.13, Apr. 1918.

[42] Maeilshinbo, Jan. 1, 1917~Jun. 14, 1917.

[43] Changjo No.6, May 1920

[44] Paeheo No.1, Jul. 1920.

[45] First Issue, Jan. 1919.

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