[Feature] Toward a New History of Korean Literature: How Should We Write it? / Choi Won-sik

The Quarterly Changbi 184, Summer 2019

 

Abstract

While meticulously considering how to solve the task of writing a history of Korean literature in the face of the historical event that might be called “the March 1stMovement Centennial invited by the candlelight,” Choi Won-sik finds a clue in the works of the early 20th-century literary critic Im Hwa, who led literary discussions during the colonial period and the period immediately following the liberation of Korea. Although he does not ignore Im Hwa’s weaknesses as a reformist, Choi vividly re-illuminates major issues in literary history with which Im Hwa struggled. Also, through reviewing and weighing the achievements and failures of later theorists’ works, he criticizes their vulgarization of Im Hwa’s theory of cultural transplantation, while he also anticipated new possibilities in Korean literature after the Candlelight Revolution by examining major points of the 1970s’ national literature theory. We hope that this argument on a new history of Korean literature will generate lively discussions in the field.