Seoul Forum to Provide New Vision for Future of Literature

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), September 26, 2000 | Go to article overview

Seoul Forum to Provide New Vision for Future of Literature


We are now living in a time of rapid and radical change that fundamentally alters our consciousness and lives. The conventional assumptions and presuppositions inherited from the past no longer seem to fit to the reality we are currently experiencing, and the new paradigm seems to be prevalent in every nook and corner of our society. Such unprecedented social and cultural changes not only dismantle the foundation of conventional institutions, but also tremendously affect the academic and literary disciplines, not to mention the arts and creative writing.

The new paradigm urges us to break the shell of nationalism and build a global village where the East and West peacefully co-exist. As a result, boundaries between race, sex, class and identity begin to disappear and cultures start to blend. At the same time, however, the celebration of difference has become central to our literary and critical concern. Hence, the fundamental dilemma of globalization: how to, simultaneously, preserve your own cultural heritage and take part in the universal civilization.

For the past few decades, therefore, writers and intellectuals have endeavored to examine the issues involved in globalization. Especially, those who are involved in multiculturalism and postcolonialism have produced a variety of minority voices and marginal discourses on one hand, and explored their relationship to the hegemonic dominant culture on the other. The ultimate conclusion, however, still remains to be seen.

The Seoul International Forum for Literature, organized by the Daesan Foundation, is a positive and active response to the initiative fostered by such a critical situation. During this memorable event, writers from all over the world have gathered, in Seoul, to discuss these issues at stake, examine the nature of such social change, and propose a new vision for the future of literature. …

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