British, Korean Writers Delve into Feminism in Literature

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), October 12, 1999 | Go to article overview

British, Korean Writers Delve into Feminism in Literature


Feminism has surfaced in the main stream of world literature at the turn of the century. While critics analyzed the femininity of male writings, huge numbers of female writers marked not only for their high quality work but for their selling quantity as well.

Korean and British writers will discuss the issue at a joint forum held in downtown Seoul. ``Women in Literature'' will be held today and tomorrow at Kyobo Life Building, featuring three U.K. writers and three Koreans.

This is the first time for writers of the two nations to meet in a forum on the literary issue.

British participants are prolific novelist Michele Roberts, Paul Bailey, Louisa Young and on the Korean side are renowned novelist Oh Chong-hee, critic and poet Prof. Kim Seung-hee and critic Prof. Choi Hye-shil. As the moderators, Prof. Ryu Myung-sook and Alastair Niven will take part. Niven is the head of the literature department at the British Council headquarters in London, visiting Korea for the occasion.

``The forum is designed to introduce the view points of writers of two nation which will lead to interactive communication on the issue,'' said the spokes person of the Daesan Foundation, one of the organizing groups.

The forum will proceed in Korean and English, a 30-minute delivery of a paper from each nation and a 30-minute discussion will follow. The forum encompasses three sessions and one plenary session and will wrap up with a final discussion.

``Over the past twenty years, contemporary female novelists have achieved both critical and commercial success in Britain. Confronting readers with themes reflecting the women, these writers seek to bring women to the forefront of British literary reality,'' said the British Council adviser, Debora Ranger, on the paper introducing British writers.

In the first session, two presenting novelist will discuss feminine writings based on their work experiences.

Michele Robers, 50, prolific novelist stated her suggestion on the paper before the seminar. ``As a novelist I am necessarily obsessed by form. One of the questions is how much gender matters to me as a novelist, and whether gender influenced my perceptions of formal problems and my attempts to solve them. …

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