[Vol. 21 No. 2] AT THE GATES OF BABEL: THE GLOBALIZATION OF KOREAN LITERATURE AS WORLD LITERATURE

Title
Title At the Gates of Babel: the Globalization of Korean Literature as World Literature
Author
Author

Jenny Wang Medina

Volume

Vol. 21 No. 2

Pages

pp. 395~422 (all 28 pages) 

Publication Date

2018.12.15

Keyword

globalization, literary criticism, translation, transnational culture, world literature

Abstract

Korean literature is an overdetermined signifier that incorporates multiple states, languages, and communal experiences based on the assumption of a shared ethnicity. As a national literature, its singularity is disrupted by the historically contingent discursive practices of literary formation, an inherently comparative process that is exacerbated in the Korean case by a multilingual past and the existence of two states known to the world as “Korea.” This essay argues that the current conception of Korean literature is a specifically South Korean construction as a component of the national globalization drive (segyehwa) that began as a predominantly economic project in the 1990s, but took hold as a cultural project in the 2000s. I examine a series of literary events from 2000-2012 organized by the Korean Literature Translation Institute (KLTI), a government agency, and the Daesan Foundation, a private cultural institution that brought local and foreign authors, scholars, and representatives from the publishing industry and local governments with the goal of globalizing Korean literature. These conversations reveal the mechanisms that prioritized literature as a desirable marker of cultural capital and its stakes for South Korea’s claim on Korean culture on the world stage. I show how South Korea’s targeted approach to the contested category of world literature through its own newly developed cultural institutions exposed the fundamental hierarchy of cultural capital sed on developmental status that determines inclusion/exclusion in world
literature.

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473 [Vol. 22 No. 1] POST-PASTORAL PERSPECTIVES OF KOREAN ENVIRONMENT IN CONTEMPORARY ART AND LITERATURE KIMBERLY CHUNG 2019.06.15 379
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