Yi Nam-ho, U Ch'angje, Yi Kwangho, Kim Mi Hyun

Translated by Ryu Youngju

Edited by Brother Anthony of T’aizé

This short volume offers essential information and a basic framework for understanding twentieth-century Korean literature. Growing out of a continuous tradition of over 2,000 years, twentieth-century Korean literature, termed “modern Korean Literature” by Korean scholars, has been shaped by profound social and political transformations on the peninsula. Those decades of great suffering and change gave birth to poets and writers of broad vision and to works of literature that testify both to actual Korean experience within this history and to the Korean spirit of resistance and transcendence. It is this literature that offers the most concrete and abundant knowledge and intuition of the sensibilities and habits of thought and the moral values and aesthetic views that guided the lives of Koreans in the twentieth century.

1900–1945: THE RISE OF MODERN LITERATURE: Two Moderns: Yi Kwangsu and Kim Tong-in Between Enlightenment and Art ● Elegies for a Lost Era: Kim Sowŏl and Han Yong-un ● Social Consciousness and the Rise of Realist Fiction ● Colonial Pastorals: Rural Sketches in Time of Oppression ● Modernization of Poetic Language and Imagination

1945–1970: LIBERATION AND THE KOREAN WAR: Abundance Amid Privation: The Poetry of Sŏ Chŏngju ● Exploring Nature and Life: Yu Ch’ihwan and Pak Mog-wŏl ● Tradition and Humanity: Kim Tongni and Hwang Sunwŏn ● Prose Poetry and Condensations of Poetic Language: Kim Su-yŏng and Kim Ch’unsu ● Currents in Fiction: Political Life and Existential Life

1970–1990: LITERATURE IN AN INDUSTRIALIZING SOCIETY: The Shadows Cast by Industrialization ● Continuing Consequences of Korean Division ● The Expression of Social Concerns in Poetry ● Women’s Voices ● Explorations of Existence and Quests for New Language ● Expansions of Fictional Space ● “The Era of Poetry” and Deconstructions of Language

Yi Nam-ho, Professor of Korean Literature, Korea University, literary critic.

U Ch’angje, Professor of Korean Literature, Sogang University, literary critic.

Yi Kwangho, Professor of Creative Writing, Seoul Institute of the Arts.

Kim Mi Hyun, Professor of Korean Literature, Ewha Womans University.
Ryu Youngju, Ph.D. candidate, Modern Korean Literature, University of California, Los Angeles.

Brother Anthony of T’aizé, Professor of English Literature, Sogang University, translator.

EastBridge Signature Books Series: EastBridge Library of Korea

ISBN 1-891936-45-x (pb) $29.95