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The Birth Of Sentimental Youths: The Affective Turn In 1910s Korea

PLEASE NOTE: The time of this event has been changed to 12:00pm
Yoon Sun Yang- Assistant Professor of Korean and Comparative Literature, Boston University 
During the first decade after Japan’s annexation of Korea (1910), short stories portraying sentimental men emerged in the Korean literary landscape. These stories often revolved around the emotional agonies of men who suffered from physical or psychological illness, a lover’s death or betrayal, the loss of a job, or perennial poverty. Written by fledgling male writers who were coming of age in the late 1900s when traditional institutions, values, and relations were extensively questioned by reformists, these stories are known as the first literary works that introduced to Korean literature the quintessential modern character in world literature, the “individual” who disengages from social and familial obligations in the quest for his interiority. How did this supposedly universal figure come into being in the colonized literary field of Korea? Focusing on three short stories, Hyŏn Sangyun’s “Persecution” (1917), Yang Kŏnsik’s “Sad Contradictions” (1918), and Chin Hangmun’s “Cry” (1917), this talk will explore the various textual, cultural, and political components that overdetermined the figures of Korean sentimental men.



Tuesday, September 30, 2014. 12:00PM


Lathrop East Asia Library, Room 224


Center for East Asian Studies and Korean Studies Program, Shorenstein APARC




Free and Open to the public; Please RSVP here.