Azalea 14: Journal of Korean Literature and Culture
- About the Book
This volume of Azalea contains three special features: Korean Genre Fiction, O Chang-Hwan, and Gender Trouble in Korean Literature and Society.
Genre fiction has maintained a presence in Korean literature at least since the colonial period, but not until the 1990s did it become a force to be reckoned with by the mundan, the Korean literature power structure. Today, readers can access science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction, horror, mystery, and crime fiction, and a variety of other formerly non-mainstream genres both in online journals and in traditional print form. The recent emergence of genre works signal fundamental changes in Korean society. The “Genre Fiction” feature, guest-edited by Bruce Fulton, commences with Roh Taehoon’s survey of Korean genre literature. The feature includes works by Kim Hŭisŏn, Djuna, O Chŏnghŭi, Jang Eunho (Chang Ŭnho), and Chŏng Yongjun.
Kevin Michael Smith introduces the special feature on O Chang-hwan, whose poetry oeuvre is a rare gemstone in the history of modern Korean literature. Overshadowed by his contemporaries, O has yet to receive the full critical appreciation he deserves, whether in Korean or English-language scholarship. Successful in every style he attempted, O moved from initial experiments with the avant-garde, drawing inspiration from futurism and dada, to a mature, pessimistic blend of romanticism and decadence, before his short-lived conversion to socialist realism in the postliberation period.
“Gender Trouble in Korean Literature and Society,” guest-edited by Hye-Ryoung Lee, offers a fundamentally new perspective through six scholars reading Korean Literature and Society. Over the past decade, the #MeToo Movement has shaken the world, and Korean society has been no exception, as can be seen in Choi Young-mi’s poem “En,” introduced here with six critical essays. Even before its publication, “En” was the focus of media attention, and it remained a hot topic in Korean society for years due to Choi’s high-profile court battles.
- About the Author(s)
Young-Jun Lee, Editor