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Kim Uchang

Kim Uchang scrap

김우창

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Author Bio 작가 소개

Kim Uchang (Hangul 김우창; born 1937) is a South Korean literary critic and English literature scholar. He is known for his arguments on building a rational society based on “aesthetic rationality” and moving beyond the dichotomy of conservatism and liberalism, modernism and post-modernism, nationalism and globalism, and literature as an ideology to empower the masses and literature as an art free of any political context.

1. Life

Kim Uchang was born in Hampyeong County, South Korea in 1937. He graduated Seoul National University in 1958 with a degree in English literature, and earned his doctoral degree at Harvard University in 1975. He taught English literature at Seoul National University from 1963 to 1974 and at Korea University from 1974 to 2003. He holds an endowed chair at Ewha Womans University.

2. Writing

Kim Uchang’s criticisms focus on how people can reclaim their humanity in a modern capitalist society. He defines “modern era” as the age in which people lose their humanity and human rationality is suppressed, undermined, and turned into a tool, due to the separation of individual agency from the operation of society. According to Kim, quality literature can be produced when society and the individual, or universality and individuality, merges dialectically. He argues that literature can help overcome the divide or discord between society and the individual. He views literature as a bridge between the two that can restore humanity.

Kim thus judges a literary work based on how successfully it brings together society and the individual. He uses the concept “specific universality” as his judging criteria and argues that specific universality can be achieved through “aesthetic rationality.” This is why Kim often emphasizes the universality of rationality. Universality derives from the ability to impartially observe life and reality. Having a universal perspective based on flexible and holistic rationality is far from making judgments mechanically. A person’s awareness of their potential for universality is what saves them from reality and connects them to it. Kim sees rationality as “the best means to perceive the marvels of the physical world or lifeworld.”

3. Reference

[김호기의 ‘우리 시대 사상의 풍경’] (6)인문주의, 인간과 삶에 대한 질문 : 이어령과 김우창, 경향신문, 2017.7.28.에 확인

http://news.khan.co.kr/kh_news/khan_art_view.html?artid=201312012145475&code=210100

문학과지성사 홈페이지, 2017.7.28.에 확인http://moonji.com/bookauth/1469/

한국현대문학대사전, 2017.7.28.에 확인http://terms.naver.com/entry.nhn?docId=333302&cid=41708&categoryId=41737

Digital Library of Korean Literature

http://library.klti.or.kr/node/31534

KLN [Kim Uchang]

http://koreanliteraturenow.com/content/kim-uchang

Seok-ju Jang, 나는 문학이다 (Namu Iyagi, 2009)

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Domestic Awards 국내 수상 내역

  • Awarded for the 2015 11th Gyungam Scholar Award
  • Awarded for the 2005 19th Inchon Award for Humanities and Literature
  • Awarded for the 2003 Green Stripes Order of Service Merit
  • Awarded for the 2000 41st Korea Baeksang Publishing Culture Award for Nonfiction
  • Awarded for the 1998 Korea University Scholar Award
  • Awarded for the 1997 14th Geumho Scholar Award
  • Awarded for the 1994 2nd Daesan Literary Award for Best Criticism
  • Awarded for the 1993 4th Palbong Literary Criticism Award
  • Awarded for the 1981 Seoul Culture and Arts Award for Best Criticism

Translations 번역서

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