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A Cultural History of Modern Korean Literature: The Birth of Oppa

Translated by:
Publisher: , 2022
Link to online store *

A Cultural History of Modern Korean Literature: The Birth of Oppa examines the cultural and social impact of Japanese colonialism and modernity on the wider aspects of everyday life in Korea. Selected as an outstanding work in 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences in South Korea, is by any measure a remarkable work. Lee considers a wide range of literary and cultural texts, exploring significant historical moments and phenomena while critically assessing personal experience and social life, mainly how modernity, colonialism, and total war shaped national and cultural identities. This text also reflects the complex and refractory legacy of Japanese colonialism and modernity. Lee’s foray into the complex relationships between Korea, Japan, and the West offers a thoroughly engaging study of the origins of modern Korean culture and society during the first half of the 20th century. The first of its kind, Lee offers a richly vivid portrait of a rapidly changing landscape, fueled by modernity and technology, one that will appeal to general readers and students alike.

Kyounghoon Lee is professor in the Department of Korean Language and Literature at Yonsei University.

John M. Frankl is professor of Korean and comparative literature at Underwood International College, Yonsei University.

Source: publisher’s website



Preface | Theodore Jun Yoo

Introduction: Colonial Modern Literature, Modern Literature as Colony

  1. Nolbu-esque Things
  2. The Birth of Oppa
  3. “Trademark” of the Colony
  4. The Fashion of Mujŏng
  5. Barbarian of the Laboratory
  6. Rice Speculation, Hot Springs, English
  7. English Grammar, Sports, Cyborg
  8. The Flesh, Yi Sang’s Windowpane
  9. The Humor of an Empty Stomach
  10. Manchuria and Pro-Japanese Romanticism

Afterword | Janet Poole

Entry on here.

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