Park Taewon

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Park Taewon
Born December 7, 1909
Died July 10, 1986(1986-07-10) (aged 76)
Language Korean
Nationality South Korean
Citizenship South Korean
Korean name
Hangul 박태원

Park Taewon (Hangul: 박태원 7 December 1909 – 10 July 1986) was a modern South Korean writer.[1]

Life[edit]

Park Taewon was born in Seoul, Korea on December 7, 1909.[2] Park Taewon’s pennames include Mongbo and Gubo. Park graduated from Gyeongseong Jeil High School, and entered Hosei University, Japan in 1930 but did not earn a degree. As a high school student, Park debuted as a poet when his poem “Elder Sister” (Nunim) won honorable mention in a contest sponsored by the journal Joseon Literary World (Joseon mundan); and as a fiction writer in 1929 with the publication of his short story “The Beard” (Suyeom) in New Life (Sinsaeng). Park joined the Group of Nine (Guinhoe, a group that also included Yi Sang) in 1930 and devoted himself to fiction thereafter. Upon Liberation in 1945 he became a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Korean Writers’ Alliance (Joseon munhakga dongmaeng).[3]

In 1950 Park crossed the 38th Parallel into North Korea where he wrote and worked as a professor at Pyeongyang Literature University. He was purged and prohibited from writing in 1956, but his writing privileges were reinstated in 1960.[4]

Park died on July 10, 1986.[5]

Work[edit]

The Korea Literature Translation Institute describes Park's contributions to Korean modern literature:

A modernist writer who boldly embraced experimental techniques and meticulous craftsmanship, Park Taewon was primarily concerned with the aestheticism and the mode of expression itself rather than the ideas expressed. His early fictional works, in particular, were a product of his attempt to engineer a new writing style: “Exhaustion” (Piro, 1933) and “Forlorn People” (Ttakhan saramdeul, 1934) contain symbols and diagrams from newspaper advertisement; “Circumstances” (Jeonmal, 1935) and “Biryang” (Biryang, 1936), contain long phrases composed of over five sentences stringed together with commas.[6]
Park, along with Lee Sang, rejected tendency literature, and stressed the importance of appreciating literature as a linguistic art, not as a medium for conveying ideologies. In the latter half of 1930’s, however, he came to focus increasingly on the customs and mannerisms of the time, and eventually abandoned his interest in stylistic invention. A Day in the Life of Novelist Gubo (Soseolga Gubossiui 1 il), serialized in Chosun joongang Ilbo from August 1 to September 19, 1934, is a semi-autobiographical novel depicting a series of observations made by a writer taking a walk around the city. Scenes by a Stream (Cheonbyeon punggyeong, 1936-1937), an elaborate portrait of urban manners and working class life presented episodically, is often regarded as the representative modernist novel of the 1930’s. After Korea regained independence, Park turned to historical issues and problems of national identity, and began to write historical novels almost exclusively.[7]

Works in Translation[edit]

Works in Korean (Partial)[edit]

Novels

  • Does the Day of Enlightenment Break Over Hills and Streams? (Gyemyeong sancheoneun balga oneunya, 1965)
  • Gabo Peasant War (Gabo nongmin jeonjaeng, 1977-1986)

Short Stories

  • “Exhaustion (Piro, 1933)
  • Forlorn People (Ttakhan saramdeul, 1934)
  • Circumstances (Jeonmal, 1935)
  • Biryang (Biryang, 1936)
  • A Day in the Life of Novelist Gubo (Soseolga Gubossiui 1 il),
  • Scenes by a Stream (Cheonbyeon punggyeong, 1936-1937)

References[edit]

  1. ^ ”Park Tae Won" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Naver Search". naver.com. Naver. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Park Tae Won" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ Lee, Kyung-ho (1996). "Park Tae-Won". Who's Who in Korean Literature. Seoul: Hollym. pp. 416–418. ISBN 1-56591-066-4. 
  5. ^ "Naver Search". naver.com. Naver. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Source-attribution|"Park Tae Won" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 
  7. ^ Source-attribution|"Park Tae Won" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]