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Korean Literature: A Lecture Presented at the Korea Foundation Open Lectures on Korean Culture December 9, 2008 John M. Frankl Underwood International.

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Presentation on theme: "Korean Literature: A Lecture Presented at the Korea Foundation Open Lectures on Korean Culture December 9, 2008 John M. Frankl Underwood International."— Presentation transcript:

1 Korean Literature: A Lecture Presented at the Korea Foundation Open Lectures on Korean Culture December 9, 2008 John M. Frankl Underwood International College Yonsei University

2 The Beginnings of “Korea” and of Literature on the Peninsula The Three Kingdoms Period: Defining “Korean,” Defining “Literature” Samguk sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms) 1145 Samguk yusa (Remnants of the Three Kingdoms) 1285 Lag and Imbedded-ness

3 Samguk sagi: “The Song of the Oriole” Fluttering, the orioles male and female together, so. Reminded of my loneliness; with whom will I ever go?

4 Unified Shilla and Koryo Dynasty Literature Time and Context Revisited Samguk yusa Koryosa (The History of Koryo) Questions of Who Writes What—When and Why? Literature as Artifact

5 Samguk yusa: “Ch’oyong and Manghae Temple” In the bright moon of the capital I enjoyed the night until late. When I came back and looked in my bed there were four legs in it. Two are mine, but the other two—Whose are they?

6 Koryo Songs: “Would You Go?” Would you go, would you go, would you? Would you just go and leave me? Oh what a time of great peace. Then how, oh how shall I live if you just go and leave me? Oh what a time of great peace. Though I might try to hold you, still, if you are sad, might you return? Oh what a time of great peace. Though I must send you away, why don’t you just come back and stay? Oh what a time of great peace.

7 Choson Dynasty Literature: The Beginnings of Stability Overcoming Lag, Maintaining Embedded-ness The Question of Language Hunmin chongum (hangul) Song of the Dragons Flying to Heaven The Tale of Hong Kiltong Works in Literary Chinese

8 The Major Forms Poetry Sijo Kasa Hansi Prose Vernacular Literary Chinese

9 The Sijo Exchange between Yi Pangwon and Chong Mongju Things go this way, like them or not; things go that way too. What if the vines on Mansu Mountain grow tangled and long? What of that? Let us unwind just like them and enjoy life a hundred years more Yi Pangwon (1641) Though this body die and die and die again, White bones become but dust a soul exist, then not, Still this single-hearted loyalty to my lord how could it waver, ever? Chong Mongju (1666)

10 Sijo: The Importance of Context Jade Green Stream, don’t boast so proud of your easy passing through these blue hills. Once you have reached the broad sea to return again will be hard. While the Bright Moon fills these empty hills, why not pause? Then go on, if you will. Hwang Chin-i

11 Early Modern Literature: Transplantation and Continuity Transplantation Continuity Hybridity and “Problematic Continuity”

12 The “Origins” of Modern Fiction The “New” Novel Origin of the Misnomer Novelty versus Hybridity The “Modern” Novel The Milestone Approach Overlap with the “New” onmun ilch’i (genbun itchi) Inverse Modernity

13 America and Japan in Early Modern Korean Fiction Tears of Blood The Heartless Three Generations Peace Under Heaven

14 : The “Dark” Years The Lacuna in Korean Literary History The Roaring 30s Everyday Life in the Empire Writings in Korean, Writing in Korean Total Mobilization Censorship Writing in Japanese

15 s: Liberation, Division, and War Kapitan Lee and Mister Pang Questions of Loyalty A Divided Country, Divided Families Redefining “Korean-ness” Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome The Urge to Return (But to Where and What?) Cranes Redefining Right and Wrong Possibilities for Reconciliation

16 Late-Twentieth Century Literature Modernization and Its Discontents Seoul, 1964, Winter A Little Ball Launched by a Dwarf Identical Apartments

17 Yoryu Chakga: The Changing Status of Women Writers A Genre unto Themselves: Women Writers and Segregation Turn of the Century: Women Writers as the Dominant Force in Korean Literature

18 Coming Full Circle: Rescuing Literature From the Nation Nationalism in Literary Production Nationalism in Literary Criticism Writers Unbound Kim Yongha Revisiting Questions of Language and Ethnicity Future Writers Koreans in English Others in Korean


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