chapter  3
32 Pages

Modern literature 1

WithMichael D. Shin

Japanese rule initially inhibited the rise of a modern literary world, making it difficult to publish modern fiction. In the early colonial period, there were no literary journals and few outlets for "new literature". This chapter examines how the novel succeeded at overcoming the limitations of short fiction and uses Franco Moretti's analysis of the bildungsroman to show how it offered a commentary on modernity. It also examines Yi Gwangsu's short stories published during the years 1915-1918 as failed efforts to narrate the "discovery of interiority." The chapter shows how Mujeong served as a commentary on modernity, revealing as well how national identity was narrated. The popularity of the novel suggests that the ending was highly satisfying to readers. Jeongju was occasionally called the "cultural center of North Pyeongan province," but in his autobiographies Yi did not mention any specific cultural advantages to being raised there.