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Detective and Love, Science and Morals -Full-length Novels of Kim, Rae-sung

이영미 1

1한국예술종합학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is to review Novelist Kim, Rae-sung's career, focussing on his full-length novels. Making a literary debut in the late 1930s, he was considered as one of the most popular Korean novelists in the 1950s and penned a wide spectrum of works, publishing such distinct genres as detective stories and romances. Some of them remained on the Korean bestseller list for decades. Looking closely into his works which spans two decades- mainly 18 full-length novels including adaptations, one can divide his career into three periods: the first when the country was under the Japanese rule and when Kim focussed on detective stories, the second when he progressed from detective stories to romances with YOUTHFUL WORLD(청춘극장) and finally the third when he concentrated on romances. His detective stories published during the Japanese rule were loved thanks to their protagonist Yoo, Bul-ran and had no rivals. However, they stood out in the colonized Cho-sun which didn't have a faith in dry locality and fair law and order, thus Kim changed his direction from detective stories to romances after the country's independence. By mixing the history of final days of Japanese rule with familiar romantic narratives, YOUTHFUL WORLD became a model of popular arts dealing the sensitive period of late Japanese rule. His romances of the 1950s are THE COVER OF LIFE and SWAN SONG which emphasized morals and sincerity and later came LOVER and THE STAR OF LOST PARADISE which studied true love by examining the relation of morals and desires. Kim was a popular novelist who was good at both detective and romantic narratives. He formed scientific and logical thinking by designing logical and complex time and space and can be characterized by his firm belief in morals. His characteristics which are epitomized by 'science' and 'morals' corresponded to the ruling ideology of the late colonized period but Kim showed an achievement by Korean literature in modernity by accepting 'science' and 'morals' with devotion and reaching out to the heart of modern thinking.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.