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The genealogical approach to the discourse of ‘the people’ rising in the study on the oral literature of North Korea

YOUNGHEE KIM 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This essay is the analysis on the genealogy of the discourse of ‘the people’ in the studies of the oral literature of North Korea. Since Korean War(1950-1953), the researchers of North Korean literature had concentrated on framing and making tradition, genealogy, and identity of North Korean literature, affected by the government, the Korean Workers’ Party and the Council of People’s Commissars. So they recalled the terms of “In-min-chang-jak”(meaning of a creation by the people) and the concept of “by the people and for the people”. The people means political subjects conditioned by historical situations of North Korean society from the late 1950s to the early the 1960s. Go-Jeong-Ok was the researcher of leading studies and projects of the Korean Academy of Social Science in North Korea, from the late 1950s to the early the 1960s. He majored in Korean oral literature, especially folksongs. He had studied about Joseon-literature in the class of Kyeogseoung(Keijo) Imperial University(京城帝國大學) in 1930s. When he graduated from university in 1939, he wrote the thesis about Joseon-folksongs. After the Japanese colonial period had finished, he re-wrote his graduation thesis and then published the book of the study on Joseon-folksongs(『朝鮮民謠硏究』) in 1949. Then he went to North Korea, and had written the book of the study on oral literature of Joseon(『朝鮮口傳文學硏究』) in 1962. He had studied and had written about the oralities and the characters of the people in Korean folksongs. And he had influenced on the studies of oral literature in North Korea. At that times the researchers of oral literature of North Korea were influenced by the scholars of folklore of Soviet and China, especially by В.И.Чичеров, as a soviet folklorist. And the researchers of the Korean Academy of Social Science in North Korea investigated and studied materials of oral literature-oral narratives, folksongs, folk dramas, proverbs and riddles- in terms of what was things created by the people and for the people in those days. And they published the journals of “In-min-chang-jak”(meaning of a creation by the people), which was the organ papers of the Korean Academy of Social Science in North Korea. Since then, ‘oral literature’ and ‘In-min-chang-jak’ have been competing concepts each other. The researchers of oral literature in North Korea had to examine the relation between orality and literacy, folklore and literature, orality and the people, in more detail. In 1990s Jang-Kwon-Pyo used the term of ‘oral literature’ instead of ‘In-min-chang-jak’. But the term of ‘oral literature’ has predicated the idea of a creation by the people and for the people.

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