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Novelist Taejun Lee's works before and after liberation
2024. 2. 21.

1.General summary

At the end of the Japanese colonial period, Ga-hyeon, a writer with no ideology, no political history, and who wanted to escape the political environment as much as possible, rents out the house where he lived and moves to a mountain village. Gangbon (Gangwon-do) area. An author who rejects the Japanese name requirement, rejects pro-Japanese works, and even refuses to write in Japanese, cannot refuse to translate a work called ‘The Pacific War’ due to economic difficulties.

Even though he wanted to escape the chaotic political environment, even the mountainous area he went to was far from peaceful and tranquil for him, and during the Japanese colonial period, pressure and control became more severe day by day. The author, who was spending time fishing to avoid inspection, met Kim Jong-won there. Because Mr. Kim was not only a Confucian scholar but also had a deeper insight into politics than the author, Mr. Hyeon respected him as more than a close friend and admired his pure heart.

Arriving in Seoul on the morning of August 17, the author attends a meeting planned by many literary friends as a leader in the literary world, and does not hesitate to step forward as a leader even though he knows that they are leftists. The author, who has no good feelings about the Soviet Union, is indecisive and doesn't know what to do, and expresses his opinion about Kim Won-won, who suggests that 47-year-old Yongchin should be re-enthroned. The author, who visited the Corson Cultural Heritage Center Negotiation Community, read the declaration, which is still in the preparation stage, and decided to become a representative of the community. Hyeon, lost in thought amidst military songs spreading across the country, reconsiders his values ​​after the 'Joseon Republic will never be supported' poster incident and decides to join the community of proletarian artists as a pioneer of writers. In the midst of chaos, including ideological conflict and pro-government protests, Mr. Kim reappears and leaves Seoul. When Hyun sees him, he compares Kim A-rim to the famous Chinese writer Wang Guk-yu.

2. Notes on the work

This work, created in the form of the author's autobiography, was published in the first issue of a literary magazine in 1946. As the title suggests, the work is a novel about author Hyeon's experiences before and after the liberation of Korea on August 15th. The character ‘Hyun’ who appears as a writer in the work is actually novelist Taejun Lee. We arrive at this conclusion through the author's powerful use of personal elements in his work.

The understanding of depicting one's own pain, which was considered most important at the end of the Japanese colonial period when oppression was at its peak, gave writers the will to seek and solve new lives and calmly solve problems in the chaotic environment after liberation. We will solve it. Lee Tae-jun, a writer who wrote works in the style of pure literature, examines proletarian literature before and after liberation through this work. Although it is difficult, we can guess why he joined hands with his community and eventually defected to North Korea.


Hyeon is a writer with a shy personality and a pure understanding of literature. After liberation, he appears as a person who adopts left-wing views.

Kim Jong-won is a Confucian scholar living in Cholbon and a semi-consistent old man who protects the royal family and never gives up on his loyalty. It advocates the idea that King Yongjin would become the ruler after liberation.

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