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Imperatives of CultureSelected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society from the Japanese Colonial Era$
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Christopher P. Hanscom, Walter K. Lew, and Youngju Ryu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838218

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838218.001.0001

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Introduction and Translation by Ellie Choi

Introduction and Translation by Ellie Choi

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction and Translation by Ellie Choi
Source:
Imperatives of Culture
Author(s):

Yi Kwangsu

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824838218.003.0001

This chapter discusses the account of Yi Kwangsu, Korea's most prominent colonial intellectual whose life was inextricably linked to the changing tides of international politics as they played out in East Asia. He was famous for penning Heartless, Korea's first modern novel, as well as for being one of the student drafters of the February 8 Declaration of Independence. Yi's magnum opus, On National Reconstruction, provided the blueprint for the Korean nationalist movement and demonstrated his expansive political vision and his deep understanding of 1920s global intellectual currents. This rich and complicated essay hit at the heart of issues debated among intellectuals of the day, from the meaning of post-World War I reconstruction to the consequences of the emerging leftist imperative.

Keywords:   Yi Kwangsu, On National Reconstruction, Heartless, February 8 Declaration, Korean nationalist movement, World War I

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