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Introduction: Literature, Philosophy and Society

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Chapter Summary

Bill Skillend made his name with his research into early Korean novels and began a long history of investigation of Korean literature at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Korean literature is represented by two papers that investigate contrasting aspects of literary endeavour. The first paper starts where the last section ended, with translation. The second paper mixes society, politics, history and literature, and examines a curious Korean literary phenomenon; a tradition of the Kubo novel written by different authors from different periods. Justyna Najbar-Miller presented her paper to the Centre of Korean Studies (CKS) in February 2013, reflecting on three formative periods in Korea's recent history: the Colonial period, the Korean War and the authoritarian period of South Korean government. This chapter considers Confucian philosophy and folk beliefs; two strands of Korean cultural tradition that are seemingly mutually exclusive, elite and non-elite cultural trends.

Keywords: Bill Skillend; Centre of Korean Studies (CKS); Confucian philosophy; Justyna Najbar-Miller; Korean literature; SOAS; South Korean government



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