2020.08.10 (월)

  • 흐림속초25.1℃
  • 흐림28.2℃
  • 흐림철원25.6℃
  • 흐림동두천25.5℃
  • 구름많음파주27.1℃
  • 흐림대관령23.7℃
  • 비백령도23.2℃
  • 흐림북강릉27.6℃
  • 흐림강릉28.7℃
  • 흐림동해22.3℃
  • 비서울27.7℃
  • 비인천25.7℃
  • 흐림원주25.4℃
  • 구름많음울릉도28.1℃
  • 흐림수원29.3℃
  • 흐림영월24.2℃
  • 흐림충주25.7℃
  • 흐림서산28.4℃
  • 흐림울진23.9℃
  • 흐림청주29.7℃
  • 흐림대전28.2℃
  • 흐림추풍령26.0℃
  • 비안동24.7℃
  • 흐림상주26.2℃
  • 구름많음포항32.1℃
  • 흐림군산30.2℃
  • 흐림대구29.5℃
  • 구름많음전주29.5℃
  • 흐림울산28.3℃
  • 비창원26.3℃
  • 비광주26.3℃
  • 비부산26.1℃
  • 구름많음통영25.8℃
  • 흐림목포30.0℃
  • 비여수25.2℃
  • 흐림흑산도26.4℃
  • 흐림완도26.0℃
  • 흐림고창29.2℃
  • 흐림순천26.0℃
  • 흐림홍성(예)28.9℃
  • 비제주26.8℃
  • 흐림고산28.3℃
  • 흐림성산24.7℃
  • 비서귀포25.8℃
  • 흐림진주27.7℃
  • 구름많음강화26.9℃
  • 구름많음양평27.2℃
  • 흐림이천28.1℃
  • 흐림인제28.7℃
  • 흐림홍천28.7℃
  • 흐림태백22.0℃
  • 흐림정선군23.9℃
  • 흐림제천24.6℃
  • 흐림보은25.9℃
  • 흐림천안27.8℃
  • 흐림보령30.6℃
  • 흐림부여29.7℃
  • 흐림금산26.9℃
  • 흐림28.3℃
  • 흐림부안29.8℃
  • 흐림임실26.2℃
  • 흐림정읍29.5℃
  • 흐림남원27.2℃
  • 흐림장수26.2℃
  • 흐림고창군29.2℃
  • 흐림영광군29.5℃
  • 구름많음김해시26.3℃
  • 흐림순창군28.1℃
  • 흐림북창원29.2℃
  • 구름많음양산시29.8℃
  • 흐림보성군26.6℃
  • 흐림강진군26.6℃
  • 흐림장흥25.8℃
  • 흐림해남27.6℃
  • 흐림고흥25.8℃
  • 흐림의령군29.1℃
  • 흐림함양군25.1℃
  • 흐림광양시25.8℃
  • 흐림진도군30.1℃
  • 흐림봉화23.3℃
  • 흐림영주24.0℃
  • 흐림문경25.1℃
  • 흐림청송군27.7℃
  • 흐림영덕28.3℃
  • 흐림의성26.5℃
  • 구름많음구미26.9℃
  • 흐림영천29.4℃
  • 구름많음경주시31.3℃
  • 흐림거창25.2℃
  • 흐림합천27.1℃
  • 흐림밀양30.0℃
  • 흐림산청25.9℃
  • 구름많음거제25.8℃
  • 흐림남해26.1℃
기상청 제공
[Meeting Korean Culture Abroad]
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국악계뉴스

[Meeting Korean Culture Abroad]

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Korean Literature Stands at Center of Attentionamong Publishers Overseas

This year’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) drew as many as 240 candidates from 67 countries, but the award ceremony had to be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Korean picture book artist Baek Heena was announced as winner of the world’s largest children’s literature award, journalists glued to the event’s video feed immediately went about spreading the news. Established by the Swedish government, ALMA is recognized as the world’s most authoritative award in the field of children’s literature. The award not only brought honor to the author herself, it also represented a significant feat for the entire publishing community in Korea, as the nation’s literature had previously received little attention in northern Europe.


When talking about literary events that kindled global interest in Korean literature, one cannot omit Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, which won the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. Ever since, Korean literary works have repeatedly emerged as candidates for overseas literary awards. In 2017, Pyun Hye-young’s novel The Hole received the American Shirley Jackson Award, and a year later, novelist Hwang Sok-yong’s At Dusk won the French Emile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature. Publication rights of Kim Un-su’s The Plotters have been sold to publishers in a score of countries after critics described the novel as fresh and detailed. In January 2019, the novel was included in a list of "Best Winter Thrillers” by the New York Times. Seo Mi-ae’s The Only Child has been published in 14 countries, adding to the popularity of Korean thrillers.


Foreign publishers, having noticed the literary and commercial value of Korean literature, are making moves to incorporate it into their catalogues. For Kim Hye-jin’s novel Concerning My Daughter, which deals with homosexuality, three publishers vied for publication rights in Britain alone. The British Asia Literary Agency mediates the publication of Korean literary works through contracts with Bae Suah, Cheon Myeong-kwan, and Han Yujoo. British daily The Guardian commented on Bae Suah’s Untold Night and Day, a novel published in Britain earlier this year: "To a westerner, the 'Koreanness’ of Untold Night and Day is ever-present. Seoul is brought to life, with its elevated highways, narrow alleyways and blazing heat.” All these developments demonstrate that global interest in Korea, triggered by Hallyu, the Korean wave, is spreading to literature.


One of Korean literature’s greatest strengths is its subtle and exquisite way of dealing with universal social problems. Han Kang’s Human Acts found great success in Sweden, earning high acclaim for speaking on such universal subjects as violence and trauma through the Korean context of the Gwangju democratization movement. Cho Nam-ju, author of the novel Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982, received enthusiastic responses from readers in China, Japan, and Taiwan for its portrayal of feminism in everyday life at a time when a wave of feminist literature was sweeping the world. German daily Die Tageszeitung, commonly referred to as taz, analyzed that Korean writers deal with social problems as they are, with simple and understated expression. Korean literature has begun to form a pillar of Hallyu, following pop music, TV series, and movies. Korean authors tell stories that are Korean yet universally relatable.


Written by Kim Moonyoung