Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Song Gisuk

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Language  Korean
Name  Song Gisuk
Citizenship  South Korean

Ethnicity  Korean
Nationality  South Korean
Role  Writer
Born  July 5, 1935 (age 80) (1935-07-05)

Song Gisuk (Hangul: 송기숙) is a modern South Korean writer of novels, short stories, and essay.



Song Gisuk was born on July 5, 1935 in Changhung Jeollanam-do, Korea. Song graduated with an M.A. from Chonnam University in Korea in 1961, and an M.A. from the same University, also in Korean, in 1964. Song worked as a professor at Chonnam National University and was arrested for writing the Declaration of the Democratization of Education. While he was eventually released, he was dismissed from his professorship. In 1980 Song was arrested again for being involved in the May 18 Gwangju Uprising, and released the following year. He then worked as a professor of Korean Literature at Chonnam.


The Korea Literature Translation Institute summarizes Song's contributions to Korean literature:

Song Gisuk’s writing is motivated by the desire to embrace the lives of common people and capture the continuity that marks their existence in Korean history, ranging from the feudal era through the Japanese colonial rule to the age of national division. This desire is clearly evident in An Elegy of Jaratgol (Jaratgorui biga, 1977) which deals with tragedy that envelops the three generations of an ordinary family in a remote Jeolla village. With the burial grounds in Jaratgol as the backdrop, the novel narrates retrospectively the series of events that has resulted in much conflict and grief in this small village, and ends on a positive note as the younger generation of villagers succeed in eliminating the cause of the tragedy. A similar faith in the spirit of resistance among ordinary people, especially the younger generation, can be glimpsed in Amtae Island (Amtaedo, 1981) and “The Mungbean General” (Nokdu janggun). Amtae Island focuses on the conflict between landowners and tenant farmers during the period of the Japanese colonial rule, and establishes tenant farmers as brave fighters who struggle to achieve self-actualization against the oppressive social machinery. In “The Mungbean General”, Song Gisuk takes as his subject the Gabo Peasant Rebellion and highlights its anti-feudal and anti-foreign character. This work reveals the author's valorization of the historical event as the culmination of the anti-feudal consciousness that began to form among peasants in late-Joseon period.

Works in Korean (Partial)


  • An Elegy of Charatgol (1977)
  • The Amtae Island (1981)
  • Short Stories

  • The White-Clad Race
  • The Goblins Banquet
  • An Unlucky Return to Old Hometown in Glory
  • Why Do Dogs Bark?
  • And Other, And You
  • Terrorist
  • Mother's Flag
  • Blue Bird
  • Essays

  • When the Flowers of Mung Beans Fail
  • Awards

  • 1973 Contemporary Literature (Hyundae Munhak) Award for his collection of stories, The White-clad Race (Baegui minjok)
  • References

    Song Gisuk Wikipedia

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