Comparative Literature : Korean literature and British / American literatures


Wed / Fri  13:30 – 14:45

Taught by Brother Anthony / 안선재

This course is designed to explore a variety of ways of relating the fiction and poetry written in Korea in the 20th century and the fiction and poetry written in the West in English. This will NOT be a question of “this is better than that” but rather we shall be trying to find ways of finding links and complementarities between a few significant works written in very different contexts during the 20th century. All the Korean works studied will be read in English translation, since the main language of the course will be English. Comparisons will be made between the formal aspects of various works, through close reading of a small number of poems and short stories, as well as between the overall characteristics described in critical histories and studies. For each work discussed, form, subject and contents, critical readings, historical contexts, author’s biographies and critical receptions will all be considered. Major themes such as Love, Nature, Nation, Death and Religion will be examined.

Texts will be be photocopied. There is no particular textbook.

1. March 7 - 9. Introduction : reading literature / comparing literatures. What is poetry / literature?

2. March 14 - 26. Poems by Kim Sowŏl – Manhae – Yeats – Thomas Hardy: the loving voice

3. March 21- 23.Yi Sang Wings and critical (post-colonial?) theory

4. March 28 - 30. Sŏ Chŏng-ju –Seamus Heaney – Allen Ginsberg – T. S. Elliot -- Baudelaire

5. April 4. Easter poetry : Ku Sang – From T.S. Eliot Four Quartets. (No class Friday April 6 Good Friday)

6. April 11-13. Faulkner : A Rose for Emily as an example of narratorial strategies

7. April 18 - 20. 4.19 Poems by Kim Su-yŏng – Kim Kwang-Kyu – Wilfred Owen – Chŏn Sang-pyŏng – Robert Frost: poetry and human life

8. April 25 - 7. Midterm exams

9. May 2 - 4. Poems by Shin Kyŏng-Nim – Robert Frost, Lawrence, Heaney : contrasting poetic voices

10. May 9 – 11. Nature in Korean and western poetry (research project)

11. May 16 - 18. O Jeong-hui Wayfarer : Women writing fiction

12. May 22 - 26. Poetry on Buddhist themes: Ko Un – Gary Snyder

13. May 30 – June 1. Kim Kwang-Kyu – the articulation of Korean and western poetry

14. (No class June 6) June 8. Poems by Ko Un – Robert Frost – Seamus Heaney : The essence of poetry?

15 June 13 - 15. Poems by Kim Seung-Hui – Sylvia Plath – Ted Hughes

The course will be taught as lectures + discussion. Students must prepare a short written statement of their response to each of the works read, for use in class and for submission. The mid-term report will be “A comparison of a work of Korean fiction and a work of modern British or American fiction” The final report will be “A comparison of work by 3 Korean poets and 3 british / American poets.” The writers and works chosen for the reports must be other than those studied in class. There will be a mid-term and a final exam. Each exam will be graded in such a way as to make it and the grades for the 2 reports roughly equal, with some credit also being given for class preparation