Formation of Periodical Authorship in 1920s Korea : Distant and Close Reading book cover
1st Edition

Formation of Periodical Authorship in 1920s Korea
Distant and Close Reading

  • Available for pre-order on April 3, 2023. Item will ship after April 24, 2023
ISBN 9781032383378
April 24, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Formation of Periodical Authorship in 1920s Korea argues that Korean authors who entered the literary scene during modern literature’s formative years were the subject mediated by periodicals. However, it has been difficult to substantiate this statement because periodicals, including magazines, were open to different groups of writers; various social, literary, religious, and cultural discourses; and dissimilar genres. The multi-level interactions between terms, knowledge, and writing styles in circulation unfolded at a larger scale at some times and at other times, in such an ordinary manner that one can hardly identify and synthesize them to make any sense. Employing not only conventional close reading, but also modes of distant reading developing out of cultural analytics, Lee investigates the specific ways in which patterns of social, semantic, and stylistic interactions in Korea’s major magazines configured three kinds of authorship, namely the “narcissistic author,” the “prophetic critic,” and the “everyday reviewer.” He rereads artist stories, leftist social discourses, religious cosmology, and joint reviews through quantitative analyses; and offers an engaging account on the importance of repetitions in creating literary originality. This book extends periodical studies through cultural analytics and opens up a new horizon for the next generation of literary scholars seeking innovative experiments in a digital age.

Chapter 3 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license available at

Table of Contents

Introduction: Korean Periodicals and Formation of Modern Authorship

1. A Macroscopic Perspective on the 1920s World of Fiction

2. A Portrait of Modern Writers as Narcissistic Young Men in Ch’angjo

3. Thematic Mapping of Kaebyŏk and the Rise of the Prophetic Critic

4. The Everyday Critic's Unknown Language in Chosŏn Mundan: Tracing Critical Terms through Machine Learning


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Jae-Yon Lee is Associate Professor of Modern Korean Literature in the School of Liberal Arts at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in Korea, where he explores the intersections of periodical studies, author studies, and cultural analytics. He has published many works on Korean cases of digital literary studies in Korean and English and recently translated Franco Moretti’s Graphs, Maps, Trees into Korean. He currently collaborates on various projects of data-driven textual studies.