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The Genealogy of the Korean Anti-American Poetry and Postcoloniality

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2007, (60), pp.335-364
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

이형권 1

1충남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Korean anti-American poetry has its own genealogy in the history of Korean literature. It originates from the anti-imperial poetry in the late nineteenth century, it appears as the anti-American consciousness related to the pro-Japanese activities during the colonial occupation, it is also found as anti-capitalistic writings during Korean war, and it is supported by Shin Dongyup’s and Kim Sooyoung’s revolutionary songs in the sixties and seventies. More importantly, the Korean anti-American poetry culminates in the anti-American protest during the 1980 massacre in Gwangju, and it now shows very different subjects and various representations. The Korean anti-American poetry has significant meanings. First of all, it clings to its own strong and steady theme as political writing. It also opens a new form of poetry that shows the ways of the world. Third, the Korean anti-American poetry contributes to the formation of such a culture that needs the existence of a strong opposition. Next, it does not deny various ways of expression such as cadence, repetition, and metaphor despite its sharp politics. Finally, the Korean anti-American poetry provides imaginative opportunities to criticize the unequal relationship between Korea and the United States. The Korean anti-American poetry, however, has its limitations to understanding reality and presenting artistry. Especially, such an anti- American poetry as political slogans lacks some artistic sense and just tends to boost the sense of anti-America. The Korean anti-American poetry and the study of the poetry need to make a contribution to advancing Korea-U.S. relations by approaching the relationship in a more sincere manner.

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