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Bungei shuto as a Critical Space of Kim Saryang’s Japanophone Literature: the Media of the ‘Empire’ and Colonial Writers’ Exchange

  • Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • 2019, 76(1), pp.275-322
  • DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.76.1.201902.275
  • Publisher : Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : January 10, 2019
  • Accepted : February 8, 2019
  • Published : February 28, 2019

Takahashi, Azusa 1

1도쿄외국어대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examines networks of colonial writers formed through the literary coterie magazine Bungei shuto (1933-1969), where many colonial writers like Kim Saryang published their works. Specifically, this paper attempts to explore the critical space of Kim Saryang’s Japanese-language works by analyzing study sessions of coterie members and readers, and letters exchanged between colonial writers in the coterie. Bungei shuto, published by Yasutaka Tokuzō, was created for the purpose of discovering new writers in response to strong sectarianism in the Japanese literary establishment at that time. Because of this mission, Yasutaka’s colonial experience, and lobbying by Chang Hyŏkchu (a coterie member), many colonial writers came to participate in the magazine as members. These included the Korean writers Chang Hyŏkchu, Kim Saryang, and Kim Talsu, and Taiwanese writer Long Yingzong. Records of study sessions by members and readers reveal expectations for colonial writers. However, the colonial writers were not unilaterally evaluated by members and readers, but also began to create exchanges among themselves through criticism appearing in Bungei shuto. Letters between colonial writers also show that they formed personal connections through participation in Bungei shuto. These letters show that Kim Saryang and Long Yingzong shared an ‘anxiety’ over their discomfort with the evaluations they received from the Japanese literary establishment, and that issues shared between Kim Saryang and Kim Talsu influenced their works. In this way, Bungei shuto created networks of colonial writers within the media of the ‘Empire’ that cannot be fully subsumed into ‘national literature.’ Although changes in Kim Saryang’s works have been viewed as a ‘retreat’ from ‘nationalist writing,’ viewed through the lens of these networks they can be seen as a process of trial and error within the media of the ‘Empire.’ This point of view offers the possibility of new ways of reading Kim Saryang’s works.

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