I have made and used three catalogues in order to understand the state of translations and studies of Chinese contemporary literature in Korea: “A Catalogue of Korean Translations and Studies of Chinese Contemporary Literature”, “A Catalogue of Ph. D. Dissertations and M. A. Theses in Modern Chinese Literature in Korea”, and “A Catalogue of Departments of Sinology (Chinese Language,Literature & etc.) in Korea”.
There are 962 books of Chinese contemporary literature translated and published in Korea, which does not include 235 Chinese knight-errant novels that are under research at the moment. 11.4% of these books were translated and published between 1920s and 1970s, 17.9% in 1980s, 34.7% in 1990s, and 36.0%in 2000s. Most of them have been published in last 30 years, and the number increased after Korea and China established diplomatic relations. 657 of these are novels and short stories which take up 67% of the whole literature, while there are 192 essays(20%) which isn’t a great number compared to the former. Poems and dramas aren’t doing so well with 59 books(6.1%) and 24 books(4.2%)respectively. And there are 6 collected editions of Lin Yutang(林語堂) and 1 of Lu Xun(魯迅). If seen according to authors, there are 235 books(including 17collaborated works with other authors) by Lu Xun, 101 books(including 3collaborated works with other authors) by Lin Yutang, and 73 books by Qiong Yao (瓊瑤). The works of these three authors take up almost 30% of the all translated Chinese contemporary literature. In 2000s, works by Lu Xun have still been translated with priority, but those of Lin Yutang and Qiong Yao have not been doing so well. Instead, there has been relative diversity in authors compared to the past, and especially Mo Yan(莫言, 9 books), Su Tong(蘇童, 7 books), Yu Hua (余華, 6 books) and Yu Qiuyu(余秋雨, 6 books) have been gaining some attention.
There were only 3 departments which studied and researched on China and its related fields in Korean universities between 1920s and 1970s. There has been the change of circumstances after 1970s, and there were 21 departments toward the end of 1970s. There were 63 departments in the late 1980s, which grew into 149 departments in late 1990s and now there are approximately 172 departments.
It also indicates that actually some serious researchers of this field had not been appeared until 1980s, for people who have started studying China in 1970s got their master’s degree during that time period. There were no doctoral theses and only 9 master’s theses on Chinese contemporary literature until the end of 1970s.
However in 1980s there were 3 doctoral theses and 78 master’s theses, and the number grew into 57 doctoral theses and 176 master’s theses in 1990s. In 2000s,there were 50 doctoral theses and 204 master’s theses, and now in total, there are 110 doctoral theses and 467 master’s theses available. The situation of translations and writings on theoretical work(including critical essays) are similar to that of master’s and doctoral theses. There were only 6 theoretical works in the end of 1970s, while 171 are published at the moment. Before Korea-China diplomatic agreement, most of the work dealt with basic matter such as the history of Chinese contemporary literature, but after the agreement, the number of more professional books on specific subjects has increased.
The reason, assessment and significance of this situation will be discussed more closely in the paper.