Kim Dong-in Goes Up on the Wikipedia

Kim Dong-in 김동인

Kim Dong-in (김동

Kim Dong-in now has a lovely big page here at the Wikipedia


Kim Dong-in, born on October 2, 1900 in Pyeongyang, Pyeongannam-do was a pioneer of realism and naturalism in Modern Korean literature. A son of a wealthy landowner, like many other young Korean intellectuals Kim took his higher education in Japan, attending the Meiji Academy in Tokyo and entering the Kawabata School of Fine Arts. Kim dropped out when he decided to pursue writing as a career[1]. In Japan in 1919, Kim and other advocates for “art-for-art’s-sake-literature,” launched the influential but transitory journal Creation (Changjo) along with Joo Yohan, Jeon Yeongtaek, Choi Seungman, and Kim Hwan[2]. Creation took a stand against the didactic literature (“national literature” to put it another way) proposed by Yi Kwang-su[3], In Creation Kim published his debut story, “The Sorrows of the Weak” (Yakhanjaui seulpeum).

Kim lived an extravagant lifestyle (based on the inheritance received from his father) until 1930, at which point his finances began to fail. Kim’s financial situation led him to depression and drug abuse[4]. Until this point Kim had been a purist (colloquial and realistic)[5] but he now turned to popular serials, which he had previously spurned. Among these were a number of historical novels (listed below). In 1934, Kim published, somewhat ironically considering their different stances on literature, the first in-depth study of Yi Gwang-su, “A Study of Chunwon” (Chunwon yeongu); in 1935, Kim launched the monthly magazine Yadam[6].

In 1939, still poor and now ill, Kim joined Park Yong-hui, Lim Hak-su and others in a visit to Manchuria that was sponsored by the Consolation of the North Chinese Imperial Army. This was clearly an act of collaboration and is regarded, even today in Korea, as a mark on his literary career[7]. In 1942, however, Kim was jailed on charges of lese-majesty against the Emperor of Japan[8].

In 1946, after Korean liberation, Kim was critical in forming the Pan-Korea Writers Association which countered other organizations promoting proletarian literature[9].

In the years that followed, Kim published stories, including “The Traitor” (Banyeokja, 1946) and “Man Without a Nation” (Manggugingi, 1947). These works, ironically, provided a sharp critique of Lee Gwang-su and other writers who collaborated with the Japanese during the occupation[10]. On January 5th, 1951, Kim died at his home in Seoul.

In 1955, the magazine World of Thoughts (Sasanggye) created the Dong-in Literature Prize to commemorate Kim’s literary achievements[11].


Works in English

Potatoes in Modern Korean Fiction: An Anthology
The Rock in Meetings and Farewells: Modern Korean Stories
The Post Horse in Meetings and Farewells: Modern Korean Stories
The Red Hills: A Doctor’s Diary in Modern Korean Short Stories
The Seaman’s Chant in The Rainy Spell and Other Korean Stories
The Photograph and the Letter in A Ready-Made Life: Early Masters of Modern Korean Fiction

Works in Korean (Partial)

Historical Novels:
The Young Ones (Jeolmeun geudeul, 1930-1931)
Spring at Unhyeongung Palace (Unhyeongungui bom, 1933)
The Decline of the Dynasty (Wangbuui nakjo, 1935)
Great Prince Suyang (Dae Suyang, 1941)

Life (Moksum, 1924)
Potato (1935)
Short Stories of Kim Dong-in (Kim Dong-in danpyeonjip, 1939)
The Sunset of the Palace (1941)
Roaming (Baehoe, 1941)
Identical Toes (Balgaragi dalmatda, 1948)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Modern Korean Fiction: An Anthology, p. 13
  4. ^
  5. ^ Modern Korean Fiction: An Anthology, p. 13
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links

3 thoughts on “Kim Dong-in Goes Up on the Wikipedia

  1. Professor Lee,

    Feel free to feed me English information on other Korean authors! 😉

    Sorry I missed you at the lunch today…

  2. Hi. I´m member of a poetic prose page. We would like to include excerpts of the books writen by south korean writers awarded with the Dong-in Prize and others. Could you help us? Thanks a lot and congratulations for the page.

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