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The Introduction of Kropotkin and the Translation of An Appeal to the Young in the 1920s

  • The Review of Korean History
  • 2021, (142), pp.83-116
  • Publisher : The Historical Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : May 26, 2021
  • Accepted : May 31, 2021
  • Published : June 30, 2021

Jongrin Park 1

1한남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the historical implication of the translation of An Appeal to the Young in the colonial Joseon in the 1920s by investigating Kropotkin’s “Aux jeunes gens” and Ōsugi Sakae’s Japanese translation, and four different kinds of Korean translation. An Appeal to the Young was published in Le Révolté in 1880 by the anarchist Kropotkin. In the pamphlet, he expressed his opinion passionately on the question of what young people should do. Thus it was translated into 20 different western languages by the 1910s, and was the most widely read among Kropotkin’s papers. In East Asia, it was first translated as “Seinen ni Uttau”(靑年に訴ふ) in Japan in the March, 1907, by Ōsugi Sakae. There had been five kinds of Japanese translation until it was translated into Korean as Chungnyeonege Soham(『靑年에게 訴함』) in colonial Joseon in July, 1925. The four out of five translations were each published in Daily Heimin Shimbun(『日刊 平民新聞』), Monthly Labor Movement(『月刊 勞働運動』), Weekly Labor Movement(『週刊 勞働運動』), and Seigi o Motomeru Kokoro(『正義を求める心』), and the other one was published as the book, Seinen ni Uttau(『靑年に訴ふ』), in 1922. Ōsugi Sakae, an anarchist, translated the original French text of An Appeal to the Young in Japanese, and added chapter divisions, which was widely used in Japan at the time in order to help readers to better understand. The Japanese version has been revised several times, and thus the main terms has been changed. What is distinctive here is that, in 1921, Ōsugi Sakae translated ‘proletariat’ and ‘bourgeoisie’ into ‘平民(commons)’ and ‘中等階級(middle class)’. There were four Korean translations of An Appeal to the Young, of which the three were published in Dong-A Ilbo(『東亞日報』), Gongje(『共濟』), and New Life(『新生活』), and the other one was published as a book in 1925. It was translated faster than expected since the ‘cultural policy’ of Japan made ‘open space’ possible after the 3.1 movement. The Korean versions were the retranslation of Ōsugi Sakae’s version, and thus the chapter divisions were also observed. It is noteworthy that the time difference between the Japanese translation and the Korean one was just 20 days to 15 months, showing ‘concurrency’. The Korean translation of An Appeal to the Young was not easy because of censorship: all or part of the text has often been deleted, or the serialization was suspended. The same text has been translated repeatedly by several translators, Kim Myeong-jin, Yoo Jin-hee, Lee Sung-tae, and Song Eon-pil and Ha Pil-won of Kwondoksa, who are all Marxists except for Kim Myeong-jin. The Marxists translated ‘révolution sociale’ into ‘social revolution’ to emphasize the revolutionary nature, while Kim Myung-jin intentionally translated it into ‘social reform,’ which implied the gap between the translations in terms of the philosophical orientation in translation. The Marxists translated An Appeal to the Young repeatedly because of the life of Kropotkin who came from a noble family but stood on the side of the people, and the popularity of the pamphlet translated into 20 languages and impressing the young people. They summoned Kropotkin as an anti-capitalist, not an anarchist.

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