Joseon Mundan, published under the guise of Joseon’s only ‘iterary magazine’, is the most important medium for examining the topography of Korean modern literature in the 1920s. Lee Kwang-soo tried to develop an independent territory of literature through Joseon Mundan, and tried to overcome the closedness of literary coterie magazine by opening the pages of magazines to all literary circles. He also materialized his ‘Munsa’ (文士) discourse through various projects, and laid the foundation for the writer recommendation system through literary contest. Bang In-geun was in charge of the actual operation and editing of the magazine, and has made a great contribution to the concrete realization of Lee Kwang-soo’s plan.
In particular, Joseon Mundan attempted various media strategies and plans that were difficult to find in existing magazines. For example, through various ‘Munsa’ (文士)-related projects, the existence of the literary creative subject that exists beyond the literary work was emphasized to the fore, and it was intended to give it meaning as a presiding existence that leads the people. In addition, it was intended to strengthen the identity of the writer as a creative subject of literature by directly listening to the voice of the writer related to literary creation or by looking at the writer’s character through the eyes of others. Such an attempt was an effective strategy to entice readers aspiring to literature, and it was also a way to grant authority and aura as literary writers to certain writers.
Meanwhile, the literary contest of Joseon Mundan was a key media strategy to strengthen its identity as a newly attempted ‘literary magazine’.
The literary contest of Joseon Mundan were judged by Lee Kwang-soo, Joo Yo-han, and Jeon Young-taek, who represent the literary circles, and instead of a prize money, I tried to entice readers through approval and recommendation as a new writer. However, the literary contest of Joseon Mundan, which advocated for the construction of Joseon literary circles through the appointment of excellent new writers, was also a way to secure a stable readership and to strengthen the literary power of existing writers. Through this, Joseon Mundan became a literary magazine representing the 1920s, and the writers who were active in Joseon Mundan could be remembered as the ‘Munsa’ (文士) of the time.