This dissertation aims at identifying the modern-oriented traits of criticism of Korean literature around the middle of 1930s, when Choi Jae-seo debuted. For this, I express the series of designations to the modern as modern-ism. We should consider th ...
This dissertation aims at identifying the modern-oriented traits of criticism of Korean literature around the middle of 1930s, when Choi Jae-seo debuted. For this, I express the series of designations to the modern as modern-ism. We should consider the fact that the modern era in Korea is eclipsed by the Japanese colonial period.
Since Korean modern literature in the colonial period accepted the concept of the modern under the state of colonization, it seemed to show the tendency of orientalism and colonialism. Overcoming the western meant overcoming the modern. The eastern was considered to have an ability to overcome the modern. The imperial national power utilized the discourses giving the priority to people and nation as the means of governing.
We are going to identify the contents of modern-ism formed in Korean modern literature under the mentioned conditions.
In the 2nd chapter, the material bases of modern-ism between the late 1930s and 1940s are examined. The event of dismissing KAPF is an indication that tells us the features of imperial governing in this period. KAPF, which maintained autonomous ideologies and politics was dismissed, and the socialists were prisoned or drawn over. Choi Jae-seo presented his intellectual theory. However, he was inclined to the academism, including orientalism and colonialism. His thoughts were based on the tradition of English literature, on which he presented the cultural, intellectual, and traditional theories.
In the 3rd chapter, I examine various aspects of the subject formed under the shift period from transition period to fascism. And I also examine what the intelligent pursued in the last 1930s in the context of conversion. The term, conversion originally refers to an active change in ideology or thought; however, its passive nuance should be considered. From the usage of conversion at that time shows us that they tried to close their passiveness.
In the 4th chapter, I examine the ambivalent aspects of subject that the intelligent under the colonized situation were forced to have. One aspect refers to the subject based on the consciousness of ethnic group(this is possible due to the colonial governing); the other refers to the subject so called 'national people' who should accept imperial-state system.
The intelligent were conflicting and confused between ethnic nation and modern nation as system due to their intention orienting modern; moreover, sense of moral was required of them. Choi accepted abolition of Korean language because it showed racial features. In fact, the colonial government performed the policies meaning to unite Chosun with Japanese imperial state system by abolishing Korean language education.
In the 5th chapter, I summarize the modern characteristics of Korean literature so far discussed. For modern and against modern, both of which were formed through the experiences in the late colonial period. The ambivalence of nation(one as ethnic group, the other as state-nation system) implies the ambivalence of modern subject. This incongruity was succeeded to the confrontation between people-state and ethnic-state ideology in the post colonial phase in which the identity as an independent nation should have been formed.
The period between the late 1930s and 1945 shows us the characteristics of modern literature formed under the colonized condition. Among many other features as modern literature, two were distinctively formed in this period. One, the nation considered as the place of ideology and thought could exist; the other, the subjectiveness divided by colonialism and orientalism, both of which are to affect the process of Korean literature after 1945. Totalitarian discourses revealed through the process of making state-nation, colonial traits that intend to imitate new imperialistic state, America, and surrealistic attitude that tries to make literature a sublime thing, on which the history of modern literature is constructed.