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2008 | 3-4 (226-227) | 182-205

Article title

KIM U-JIN - THE PRECURSOR OF THE KOREAN EXPRESSIONISM (Kim U-jin - prekursor ekspresjonizmu koreanskiego)


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Kim U-jin (1897-1926), the first professional literary critic in the history of Korean literature, as well as the poet, essayist and dramatist has not been highly valued in the Korean theatre and literary circles for a very long time. His literary achievements were not revealed until the late of 1970s and published in 1983. Korean historians of literature and researchers of the modern Korean theatre immediately noticed and paid special attention to Kim U-jin's original artistic view and varied interests, his extensive knowledge of Western literature and remarkable insight into Western philosophy, as well as the novel literary technique, vivid and distinct especially in his dramatic output that maybe modest in quantity but very unique in comparison with the works of other Korean writers of the 1920s. The artistic view of Kim U-jin formed under the influence of Schopenhauer's metaphysical irrationalism, Nietzsche's relativist theory of value and Bergson's intuitive philosophy of life. Kim U-jin did not limit himself to the literary convention of realism that was gaining some popularity in Korean intellectual circles but very soon became interested in the avant-garde current of German expressionism recognizing its new, limitless options of theatrical and artistic expression. Dealing with social issues, Kim U-jin as the first playwright in the history of Korean literature broke with the conventional style and romantic mode. Instead he included in the content of his plays own reflections and extended them by contemplating the main character's psyche. He also enriched his works with many autobiographical motifs, often presented in an extremely subjective manner.




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  • Ewa Rynarzewska, Uniwersytet Warszawski, Wydzial Orientalistyczny, ul. Krakowskie Przedmiescie 26/28 00-927, Warszawa, Poland


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