Publication details [#11696]

Hyun, Theresa. 2005. The lover's silence, the people's voice: translating nationalist poetics in the colonial period in Korea. In Hung, Eva and Judy Wakabayashi, eds. Asian translation traditions. Manchester: St. Jerome. pp. 155–168.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


Koreans began to formulate their sense of modern nationhood during the period when they were faced with colonial oppression by Japan. At that time translations of foreign works contributed to the creation of modern literary forms as well as to broader cultural changes. The translators of the 1920s and 30s engaged in lively debates about the role of translation in enriching Korean language and culture. Kim Ok, one of the most prominent translators of the time, emphasized the efficacy of translating the works of the Indian poets Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu as a means of promoting Asian sentiments and philosophical outlook. Kim Ok's Tagore and Naidu translations relate to nationalist images in certain original Korean works of the period. Women writers such as Kim Myong-Sun and Mo Yun-Suk combined some of the feminist and nationalist tendencies found in translated works. This paper provides an examination of literary translations in the colonial period in Korea in order to gain insights into the relationship of translation to changes in gender and national identities.
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