This paper seeks to expand the scale of literary history by restoring and analyzing the whole aspect of Kwak Hashin’s works, which has so far been studied little. For this purpose, I notice the rupture of discontinuity of his works which is greatly divided into the colonial period and post Korean war period. And the characteristics of each works can be analyzed based on the three axis, local(colonial period), jobless person(post-war period), and Homo Economicus(some short stories, and popular novels in post-war period).
In Chapter 2, ‘Local-the world of Munjang’, I evaluated that Kwak Hashin’s novel, which had been published in the late 1930s in the Journal of Munjang, embodied anti-modern aesthetic consciousness, as clearly revealing the sorrow for disappearing things, the pre-modern sense of time, and the preference for local. In Chapter 3, ‘Jobless Person’ and Chapter 4, ‘The State of All People’s Struggle against All People, The Appearance of Homo Economicus’, the Korean society in late 1950s, which entered underdeveloped capitalist countries after Korean war, can be characterized by two contrasting male-gender, one is the jobless, incompetent male, and the economic man on the other hand. In the late ‘50s, Lumpen(=Jobless Person) novels showed the problems of the Korean economy through incompetent male character. The intelligent men took the path to survival rather than morality or intimacy, projecting their own incompetence and anxiety to women/wives. In the popular novels Women’s Song and The Shadow of the Fig Tree, achievement-oriented male figures who betrayed their colleagues, and exploited women’s sex by using love relationships to rise to the top appeared. They can be defined as the Homo Economicus who embody the state of universal struggle against all people. These novels showed the formation of the masculinity in post Korean war period, which pursued the survival of the fittest, borrowing form of popular novel.
As we have seen so far, Kwak Hashin needs to be re-evaluated as an writer who expanded the modern literary history in the outside of literature. He was the last generation writer written in Korean late colonial period, and provided the model of postwar literature by borrowing the form of journalism and popular novels.