Comparative Literature : Korean literature and British / American literatures

011-545 Dept of Korean Language and Literature Graduate School

Thursday  14:00 – 17:00

Taught by Brother Anthony / 안선재 (011-9979-8301

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, especially in Britain, Ireland, and the United States. 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 such 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.

Many texts will be available for download, others will be photocopied. There is no particular textbook. Since it takes time to read a work of fiction in English, there are more poems than short stories in this course.

1. March 8. Introduction : reading literature / comparing literatures: What is poetry / literature?
2. March 15. Poems by Kim Sowŏl – Manhae – Yeats – Thomas Hardy: the loving voice
3. March 22.Yi Sang Wings, read in the light of post-colonial and other theories
4. March 29. Sŏ Chŏng-ju –Seamus Heaney – Gary Snyder – Allen Ginsberg – T. S. Elliot
5. April 5. No class (Holy Thursday)
6. April 12. Faulkner : A Rose for Emily as a contrasting example of narratorial strategies
7. April 19. 4.19 Poems by Kim Su-yŏng – Kim Kwang-Kyu – War poetry by Wilfred Owen – Cho Chi-hun – Ku Sang
8. April 26. Poems by Ku Sang – Chon Sang-pyong – R.S. Thomas: God, poetry and humanity. What contrasts?
9. May 3. Poems by Shin Kyong-Nim – Robert Frost – D.H. Lawrence etc : contrasting poetic voices
10. May 10. Nature in the poetry of East and West (research project)
11. May 17. O Jeong-hui Wayfarer A woman writing? What contrasts?
12. May 24. No class (Buddha’s Birthday)
13. May 31. Kim Kwang-Kyu. Other nations’ poetries : influences or impulses?
14. June 7. Poems by Ko Un – Gary Snyder – Seamus Heaney : The essence of poetry?
15 June 14. Poems by Kim Seung-Hui – Sylvia Plath  Themes of death in life

The course will be taught as lectures + discussion. Students should prepare a short written statement of their response to the works read, for use in class discussions. The mid-term report will be “Nature in the Poetry of East and West, pre-modern and 20th-century.” The final report will be “A comparison of works by 3 Korean poets and 3 British / American poets.”