Korean Literature:
A Lecture Presented at the Korean Studies
Workshop for American Educators 2008
John M. Frankl
Underwood International College
Yonsei University
The Beginnings of “Korea”
and of Literature on the
The Three Kingdoms Period:
Defining “Korean,” Defining
Samguk sagi (History of the Three
Kingdoms) 1145
Samguk yusa (Remnants of the Three
Kingdoms) 1285
Lag and Imbedded-ness
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
Choson Dynasty Literature:
The Beginnings of Stability
Overcoming Lag, Maintaining
The Question of Language
Hunmin chongum (hangul)
Song of the Dragons Flying to Heaven
The Tale of Hong Kiltong
Works in Literary Chinese
The Major Forms
Literary Chinese
Sijo: An Example 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
Early Modern Literature:
Between Transplantation and
Hybridity and “Problematic
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
America and Japan in Early
Modern Korean Fiction
Tears of Blood
The Heartless
Three Generations
1935-1945: The “Dark” Years
The Lacuna in Korean Literary
The Roaring 30s
Everyday Life in the Empire
Writings in Korean, Writing in Korean
Total Mobilization
Writing in Japanese
1945-1960s: 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?)
Redefining Right and Wrong
Possibilities for Reconciliation
Late-Twentieth Century Literature
Modernization and Its Discontents
Seoul, 1964, Winter
A Little Ball Launched by a Dwarf
Identical Apartments
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
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