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ISSN : 2384-0668(Print)
ISSN : 2384-0692(Online)
S/N Korean Humanities Vol.5 No.1 pp.81-100
DOI : https://doi.org/10.17783/IHU.2019.5.1.81

The Conflict between Progressive and Reactionary Literature on the March First People’s Uprising

Sŏk Kŭmch’ŏl
Academy of Social Sciences, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
July 1, 2018 September 3, 2018 March 1, 2019

Abstract

After the March First People’s Uprising, writers that included progressive patriots, independence activists and the broader masses created progressive literature that reflected the heights of the Korean people’s patriotic fervor and the national anti-Japanese struggle. In contrast, bourgeois writers went down the path of becoming reactionaries as their disappointment, sense of failure, weariness and despair led them to a literary world that was at once both empty and degenerate. Unlike the progressive works that flow with our people’s strong will and invincible spirit that refused to surrender in the face of guns and knives and gave them the strong resolve to achieve independence for their country, these corrupted literary works were reactionary in the sense that they emphasized feelings of depression, despair and pessimism in their portrayal of human beings faced with misfortune. These works, which reflect historical fact but are in sharp contrast to the Chuch’e ideological direction, portrayal of art and characters, and description of life in both content and convention, show how sharp and complicated the confrontation between progressive and reactionary literature was in our country’s modern literary world in the time leading up to and following the March First People’s Uprising.

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