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Kim Dong-in(김동인)

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Kim Dongin
Family Name
First Name
Preferred Name
Kim Dong-in
Pen Name
Kim Tong-in, Kim Dong İn, Кiм Тонiн
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Kim Dong-in (1900–1951) was a Korean writer.


Kim Dong-in, born on October 2, 1900 in Pyeongyang, was a pioneer of realism and naturalism in modern Korean literature. A son of a wealthy landowner, like many other young Korean intellectuals Kim was educated in Japan, attending the Meiji Academy in Tokyo and entering the Kawabata School of Fine Arts. Kim dropped out when he decided to pursue writing as a career. In 1919, Kim founded the transitory but influential journal Changjo (창조) in Japan along with other advocates for "art-for-art's-sake-literature," namely Joo Yohan, Jeon Yeongtaek, Choi Seungman, and Kim Hwan. Changjo took a stand against the didactic or "national" literature proposed by Yi Kwang-su. Kim published his debut story, "Yakhanjaui seulpeum" (약한자의 슬픔 The Sorrows of the Weak), in its inaugural issue. In 1925, Kim published one of his most famous works, "Gamja" (감자 Potatoes) which was a breakthrough in Korean "realist" fiction and a further salvo in his ongoing literary war with Yi Kwang-su.

Kim lived an extravagant lifestyle on his inheritance until 1930, at which point his finances began to fail. Kim's financial situation led him to depression and drug abuse. Until this point, Kim had been a purist (colloquial and realistic), but he now turned to popular serials, which he had previously spurned. Among these were a number of historical novels. In 1934, Kim published, somewhat ironically considering their different stances on literature, the first in-depth study of Yi Kwang-su, Chunwon yeongu (춘원연구A Study of Chunwon); in 1935, Kim launched the monthly magazine Yadam (야담).

In 1939, impoverished and in ill health, Kim joined Park Yong-hui, Lim Hak-su and others in a visit to Manchuria that was sponsored by the North Chinese Imperial Army. This was clearly an act of collaboration and is regarded to this day as a stain on his literary career. In 1942, however, Kim was jailed on charges of lese-majesty against the Emperor of Japan.

In 1946, after Korea's liberation, Kim was critical in forming the Pan-Korea Writers Association which countered other organizations promoting proletarian literature.

Kim continued to write, publishing stories including "Banyeokja"(반역자, The Traitor) and "Manggugingi" (망국인기 Man Without a Nation). These works, ironically, criticized Yi Kwang-Su and other writers who collaborated with the Japanese during the occupation. On January 5, 1951, Kim died at his home in Seoul. 

In 1955, the magazine Sasanggye created the Dong-in Literary Award to commemorate Kim's literary achievements.


Kim Dong-in is best known for his short stories that combine exquisite aesthetic sensibilities with succinct prose style and objective perspective. He first drew attention with the publication of such naturalist stories as "Myeongmun" (명문 Distinguished Statement), "Sigol Hwangseobang" (시골 황서방 Hwang the Rustic) and "Gamja" (감자 Potatoes). In particular, “Potatoes,” a story of a woman who gradually loses all sense of decency and degenerates into a common prostitute as she tries to overcome economic hardship, is noted for the author’s use of realism and deterministic viewpoint to defy traditional morality and the didactic use of literature advocated by Yi Kwang-su’s enlightenment movement. In an era dominated by the Proletarian Movement and the New Tendency school of thought, when art was utilized to further ideological debates and social changes, Kim Dong-in upheld the vision of pure aestheticism and the autonomy of literature as art. This view is reflected in his aestheticist fiction such as "Gwangyeom sonata" (광염소나타, Sonata Appassionata) and "Gwanghwasa" (광화사  Gwanghwasa Temple), which feature mad artists in pursuit of artistic perfection. 

Many of Kim's stories have been adapted to film. Fellow Korean author Kim Seungok wrote the screenplay and directed the first adaptation of "Potatoes" which was released in 1968. The story was adapted again in 1987 by director Byun Jang-ho. Other works which made it to the screen are as follows: The Young Ones (1985) directed by Ko Seong-ui, Identical Toes (1976) directed by Kim Soo-yong, Sonata Appassionata (1979) directed by Ko Young-nam, Gwanghwa Temple (1974) directed by Joo Dong-jin, and Baettaragi (1973) directed by Lee Kyu-hwan.

Kim Dong-in es conocido por sus relatos cortos, que combinan una sensibilidad estética exquisita con un estilo de prosa sucinta y una perspectiva objetiva. Llamó la atención primero con la publicación de historias de corte naturalista como "Un documento insigne" (Myeongmun, 1924), "Hwang el rústico" (Sigol Hwangseobang, 1925) y "Patata" (Gamja, 1921). En particular, Patata, que es la historia de una mujer que pierde gradualmente todo sentido de la honradez y degenera en una prostituta que intenta superar sus problemas económicos, se toma como ejemplo del uso del punto de vista realista y determinista del autor con el fin de desafiar la moral tradicional y el uso didáctico de la literatura defendido por el movimiento iniciado por Yi Kwang-su. En una época dominada por el movimiento proletario y la escuela de la nueva tendencia de pensamiento, cuando el arte se utilizaba en debates ideológicos y cambios sociales, Kim Dong-in mantuvo la visión de la estética pura y la autonomía de la literatura como arte. Este punto de vista se refleja en su ficción esteticista "Sonata apasionada"(Gwangyeom sonata, 1930) y en "El templo Gwanghwasa" (Gwanghwasa, 1930), que retratan a artistas locos en busca de la perfección artística.6

Muchas de sus historias de han adaptado al cine.7 El escritor coreano Kim Seungok escribió el guion y dirigió la primera adaptación de "Patata" que se estrenó en 1968.8 La historia fue adaptada de nuevo en 1987 por el director Byeon Jang-ho. Otras obras que se han llevado a la gran pantalla son: Los jóvenes (1985), dirigida por Ko Seong-ui; Los dedos de los pies iguales (1976), dirigida por Kim Suyong; Sonata apasionada (1979), dirigida por Ko Young-nam; El templo Gwanghwa (1974), dirigida por Joo Dong-jin y Viaje en bote (1973) dirigida por Lee Kyu-hwan.


Kim Dong-in est avant tout connu pour ses nouvelles qui combinent une grande sensibilité esthétique avec un style prosaïque. Il attire l'attention de la critique dès 1924 avec la publication de Belle prose (Myeongmun, 1924), Hwang le rustique (Sigol Hwangseobang, 1925) et Pomme de terre (Gamja, 1921). Cette dernière nouvelle raconte l'histoire d'une femme qui perd toute forme de décence dans son comportement et son mode de vie et qui finit par se prostituer pour pouvoir satisfaire ses besoins économiques. Ce récit, précurseur du style réaliste en Corée, vient en contrepoint de la littérature nationale défendue par Yi Kwang-su durant cette période1.

Plusieurs des récits de Kim Dong-in ont été adaptés en film7. C'est le cas notamment pour Pomme de terre, qui a été adapté par le réalisateur Kim Seungok en 19688; l'histoire est réadaptée une nouvelle fois en 1987 par le réalisateur Byeon Jang-ho.


Kim Tong-in (Künstlernamen: Ch'unsa (춘사春士) und Kim Siŏdim (김시어딤)), ein Pionier des Realismus und Naturalismus in der koreanischen Literatur, wurde am 2. Oktober 1900 in Pjöngjang geboren. Als Sohn eines reichen Landbesitzers besuchte er die Meiji Akademie in Tokyo und fing ein Studium an der Kawabata School of Fine Arts an, brach dieses jedoch ab, um sich voll und ganz seiner Karriere als Schriftsteller zu widmen. 1919 gründete er zusammen mit Chu Yo-han (주요한(朱耀翰)), Chŏn Yŏng-t'aek (전영택(田榮澤)), Ch'oe Sŭng-man (최승만(崔承萬)) und Kim Hwan (김환(金煥)) die Zeitschrift Kreativ (창조), in der er seine erste Geschichte Der Kummer der Schwachen (약한 자의 슬픔) veröffentlichte.

Am bekanntesten ist Kim für seine Kurzgeschichten, die außerordentliches Empfindungsvermögen mit bündigem Prosa-Stil und einer objektiven Perspektive verbinden. Anfangs machte er durch die Veröffentlichung naturalistischer Geschichten wie Meisterhafter Stil (명문), Der alte Wang vom Land (시골 황서방) und Kartoffel (감자) von sich reden. Vor allem Kartoffel, die Geschichte einer Frau, die aufgrund von ökonomischen Schwierigkeiten, Stück für Stück ihren Anstand verliert und zu einer billigen Prostituierten degeneriert, ist bekannt für ihren Realismus und die entschlossene Ablehnung traditioneller Moral und didaktischer Verwendung von Literatur, wie sie Yi Kwang-su mit seiner Aufklärungsbewegung förderte. In einer Zeit, da proletarische Bewegungen und neue Gedanken an der Tagesordnung waren, in einer Zeit, in der Kunst instrumentalisiert wurde, um ideologische Debatten und soziale Veränderungen anzuregen, hielt Kim die Vision von purer Ästhetik und der Autonomie von Literatur als Kunst aufrecht. Diese Ansicht spiegelt sich wider in seinen ästhetischen Romanen Sonata Appassionato (광염소나타) und Kwanghwa Tempel (광화사), die von verrückten Künstlern handeln, die nach künstlerischer Perfektion streben.

Kim, berüchtigt für seinen extravaganten Lebensstil, den er sich dank seines Erbes leisten konnte, begann 1930 in finanzielle Schwierigkeiten zu geraten, die zu Depression und Drogenmissbrauch führten. Obwohl Kim als Purist bezüglich seiner Kunst galt, war er, um seine Familie zu ernähren, gezwungen, populäre Fortsetzungsromane in Zeitungen zu veröffentlichen, was er zuvor noch zutiefst verachtet hatte. 1934 veröffentlichte er Studien über Ch'unwŏn (춘원 연구), ein Werk, welches als erste eingehende Studie über Yi Kwang-su (이광수(李光洙)) angesehen wird. 1935 gründete er das monatliche Magazin Yadam (야담).

Kim, verarmt und krank, schloss sich Park Yŏng-hŭi (박영희(朴英熙)), Im Hak-su (임학수(林學洙)) und anderen an, und besuchte 1939 die Mandschurei als Mitglied des Schriftsteller-Corps zum Trost der Nordchinesischen Armee, eine offenkundig pro-japanische Aktivität, die als dauerhafter Schandfleck seiner literarischen Karriere zurückblieb. 1942 wurde er zum zweiten Mal für Majestätsbeleidigung des japanischen Kaisers inhaftiert. 1946 stand Kim der Pan-Koreanischen Schriftstellervereinigung (전조선문필가협회) kritisch gegenüber, das diese die proletarische Kunst förderte. In den folgenden Jahren veröffentlichte er eine Reihe von Geschichten, die unter anderem scharfe Kritik an Yi Kwang-su und anderen Kollaborateuren mit Japan während der Besatzungszeit übten. Am 5. Januar 1951 starb er in seinem Zuhause in Seoul[3].


김동인(1900~1951)은 대한민국의 소설가다.


김동인은 1900년 평안남도 평양에서 태어났다. 아버지는 개신교의 장로이자 지역의 대부호로, 유복한 유년기를 보냈다. 1914년 일본으로 유학을 떠나 도쿄학원 중학부에 입학하고, 이듬해 메이지학원 중학부2학년으로 편입했다. 1917년 아버지가 사망한 후 상당한 유산을 상속받았으며, 도쿄의 미술학교인 가와바타화숙에 입학하였다. 

1919년 친구인 주요한과 함께 한국 최초의 순문예 잡지 《창조》를 창간하고 첫 소설 〈약한 자의 슬픔〉을 발표하며 본격적으로 작품 활동을 시작했다. 이후 〈목숨〉(1921), 〈배따라기〉(1921), 〈감자〉(1925) 등의 단편소설을 주로 발표하면서 작가적 기반을 다졌다. 1920년대 후반, 그의 사치스러운 생활과 사업의 실패로 인해 유산을 탕진하고 아내와 이혼하게 되었다. 이 시기부터 생계를 위해 장편역사소설을 신문에 연재하기 시작하는 한편, 단편소설 창작에서도 왕성한 활동을 보였다. 

한때 2‧8독립선언(1918)을 준비하는 등 독립운동에도 참여했던 김동인은 1930년대 중반에 이르러 일본군 위문을 다녀오거나, ‘내선일체, 황민화’를 부추기는 등 친일 활동을 하기 시작했다. 해방 후에는 〈망국인기〉(1947), 〈속망국인기〉(1948)와 같은 작품을 발표하여 자신의 친일 행적을 변호하는 작품을 발표하기도 했다. 한국 전쟁이 발발한 이듬해인 1951년에 세상을 떠났다. 

작품 세계

김동인의 대다수 단편소설들은 사회 현실, 당대의 역사와 단절된 허구의 공간 위에 그려져 있다. 그에게 있어서 소설은 ‘예술적 창조’였으며, 소설의 근본 과제는 참다운 인생과 인간 존재의 본질을 탐구하는 것이었다. 김동인은 시대를 초월하여 불변하는 가치를 추구함으로써 ‘예술지상주의자’라는 평가를 받았고 이는 물론 작품의 내적 구조의 완결성을 통해 드러날 수밖에 없었다.

그의 초기 작품 중 가장 완결성과 예술성이 뛰어나다고 평가되는 〈배따라기〉(1921)는 액자식 구조를 통해 형식적 완결성을 획득하고 있으며, 비극적인 운명으로 인해 파멸하게 되는 인물을 제시함으로써 인간의 삶과 그 운명성을 대조적으로 드러낸다고 평가된다. 이와 함께 〈감자〉(1925) 역시 가난이라는 외부적 조건으로 인해 타락해가는 인물의 삶을 조명함으로써 인간의 운명에 대한 사유를 보여준다.

김동인은 장편역사소설들을 연재하기도 했다. 《젊은 그들》(1931), 《운현궁의 봄》(1934)와 같은 작품들은 작가 자신이 ‘통속 소설’이라 지칭하였지만 모두 한말(韓末)을 배경으로 하여 흥선대원군과 같은 실존인물을 다룬다는 점에서 ‘역사 소설’로 분류된다. 그러나 대원군 개인에 이야기를 집중함으로써 역사의 흐름이나 시대의 총체성에 대한 포착은 부족하다는 비판을 받기도 했다. 

문학사적 관점에서 김동인의 작품들은 한국 근대 단편소설 양식의 확립에 기여하고 당대 유행하던 사회주의 리얼리즘 문학에 맞서 순수문학의 토대를 마련하였다는 평가를 받는다.  

주요 작품

1) 전집

《동인전집》, 홍익출판사, 1964.

《김동인전집》, 조선일보사, 1988.

2) 소설집

《목숨》, 창조사, 1923.

《감자》, 한성도서, 1935.

《배회》, 삼음사, 1941.

《태형》, 대조사, 1946.

《광화사》, 백민문화사, 1947.

3) 장편소설

《젊은 그들》, 삼문사, 1936.

《대수양》, 남창서관, 1944.

《백마강》, 남창서관, 1944.

《김연실전》, 금룡도서문구, 1946.

《운현궁의 봄》, 한성도서주식회사, 1949.

《왕자호동》, 청춘사, 1951.

《서라벌》, 태극사, 1953.

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