Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War
Comparing North and South Korean Writing
Through an in-depth analysis of wartime essays and literary works, Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War considers the similarities and differences in the way that writers from both North and South Korea perceived and experienced the conflict.
In this book, Jerôme de Wit examines the social impact of major themes in the output of these writers, such as the notion of collaboration, the portrayal of the enemy and heroes, and the role of women during war, to further our understanding of the wartime identities that were constructed by the two Koreas. The result is a nuanced and enlightening study which provides a base for a full exploration of the role culture in the formation of North and South Korean states.
Until now, most studies have tended to focus on the Korean War's role in big power relations or on Korea's role in Cold War history. Literature and Cultural Identity during the Korean War demonstrates that the struggle was simultaneously an international 'total' war as well as a civil one. It is an important study for anyone interested in the literature and culture of the Korean War.