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Kim Seungok(김승옥)

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Kim Seungok
Family Name
First Name
Preferred Name
Kim Seungok
Pen Name
Kim Sŭng-Ok, 河瑾燦, KIM SŬNG'OK
Representative Works
  • Descriptions
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  • Korean(한국어)

Kim Seungok (born December 1941) is a South Korean novelist and screenwriter.


Born in Osaka, Japan, Kim Seungok returned to Korea after its liberation in 1945. There, he was raised in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do where he graduated from Suncheon High School. In 1960, he studied French literature at Seoul National University at a time when the department and university were the center of intellectual discontent in Seoul. While at Seoul National University, Kim was a cartoonist for the Seoul Economic Daily and published his first major story at age 19, "Saengmyeongyeonseup" (생명연습 Practice for Life), winning the Hankook Ilbo New Writer's Contest in 1962. The same year, while still a junior at university, Kim founded the literary journal The Age of Prose (산문시대) with Kim Hyeon, Yeom Mu-ung, and Kim Chi-su, and published his short stories "Geon" (건 Dry) and "Hwansangsucheop" (환상수첩 Fantasy Notebook) there. Most of his representative works, such as "Mujin gihaeng" (무진기행 Journey to Mujin) and "Seoul, 1964 nyeon gyeoul" (서울, 1964년 겨울 Seoul, 1964, Winter), were published soon after. His greatest success was "Seoul 1964 nyeon gyeoul," a work that crystallized a Korean sense of loss and meaninglessness attendant to the industrialization of Korea and resulting nihilism. In 1967, "Journey to Mujin" was adapted into the film Mist. Kim Seung-ok was the screenwriter, and director Kim Soo-yong won the Best Director award at the 14th Asia-Pacific Film Festival.

Kim served as an editor-in-chief at Samtoh and later as a professor of Korean literature at Sejong University. In 1995, a five-volume set of his work, Kim Seungok soseol jeonjip (김승옥소설전집 Complete Works of Kim Seungok), was published. The Kim Seungok Literary Museum was established in 2010, and the Kim Seungok Literary Award has been awarded every year since 2013.



Kim depicted an individual’s sense of loss as he wanders, unable to adapt to reality during the industrialization of South Korea in the 1960s. His sensuous writing style and quality fiction were praised for starting a “revolution of sensibilities” in Korean literature.

His works depict the daily life of petit bourgeois individuals who are unable to adapt to reality rife with materialism and social climbing in the rapid industrialization of the country. In his early works, Kim shows a burning desire to escape the bounds of quotidian existence; he often does this through fantasy or hallucination. However, Kim quickly began to recognize the strength of social constraints, and his works began to reflect an inability to exceed these constraints. Kim's stance turned towards distance and nihilism, in which there was no such thing as a dream. The romantic outsider is replaced by atomistic narrators in uncaring society. Later works all detail the anomic lives of narrators who are trapped by modernizing society. Finally, just before he retired from fiction entirely, Kim attempted to use erotic passion in somewhat the same way he had used hallucination/fantasy in his earlier works. Kim's stories in this vein were not well received. 

Kim was the first Korean writer to win both the Yi Sang Literary Award (he won the inaugural award in 1977) and the Dong-in Literary Award (In 1965, for "Seoul, Winter, 1964"), but after 1967 his creative energies began to dissipate. In 1980, he was serializing a novel about young intellectuals during the Yushin Reform titled Meonjiui bang (먼지의 방 Room of Dust) in the Dong-A Ilbo but stopped after the 15th installment, citing the loss of will to write after the Gwangju Massacre.[1] In 1981, Kim underwent a mystical experience and returned to religion. Afterward, he virtually stopped writing.


In college, Kim drew cartoons for the school newspaper, and earned tuition by serializing Pagoda yeonggam (파고다 영감 Grandpa Pagoda) in the Seoul Economic Daily. He also drew the cover for Choi In-hun’s novel Gwangjang (광장 The Square). In 2016, he held an exhibition of portraits he drew of literary figures, including Kim Hyeon, Hwang Sun-won, and Kim Ji-ha. In 2017, he published a picture book titled Geurimeuro tteonaneun Mujin gihaeng (그림으로 떠나는 무진기행 A Journey to Mujin in Pictures).


In 1966, he started working in film by writing a screenplay based on “Journey to Mujin.” He adapted Kim Dong-in’s "Potatoes" into film, which was well received at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and reviewed in Le Monde. Afterward, he adapted Cho Seon-jak’s Yeongja-ui jeonseongsidae (영자의 전성시대 Yeong-ja’s Heydays) and Cho Hae-il’s Gyeoul yeoja (겨울 여자 Winter Woman), rising to fame as a writer-turned-screenwriter alongside Choi In-ho in the 1970s, when best-selling fiction was often adapted into a film. His adaptation of Lee O-young’s Janggunui suyeom (장군의 수염 A General’s Beard) into a screenplay won the Grand Bell Award for Best Screenplay.


[1] Baek Mun-im and Song Tae-uk et al., Reunesangseuin Kim Seungok (Kim Seungok, the Renaissance Man), Aelpi, 2005, pp. 25-29.

Kim Seung-ok wurde am 23. Dezember 1941 in Osaka, Japan, geboren. 1945 zog er nach Korea. Er wuchs in Sunch'ŏn, einer Stadt im Süden Koreas, auf und absolvierte sein Studium der Französischen Literatur an der Seoul National University. Da er 1960 zu studieren begann, dem Jahr, als die April-Revolution ausbrach, wird er häufig der „Generation des 19. April“ zugeordnet.[1]

1962 gewann er mit seiner Erzählung Leben üben den jährlichen Literaturwettbewerb der Hankook Ilbo (Korea-Zeitung). Dadurch wurde er in der Literaturszene bekannt. Im selben Jahr gründete er mit seinen Studienkollegen Kim Hyŏn und Ch'oe Ha-rim die Literaturzeitschrift ''Sanmun sidae'' (Prosazeit), in der er u.a. sein Fantasie-Notizbuch veröffentlichte.

Seitdem war er als Schriftsteller aktiv. Mujin im Nebel (1964) machte ihn zum bedeutendsten Repräsentanten der neuen Literaturtendenz. Die ungewöhnliche Atmosphäre und der besondere Stil in seinen Texten, in denen er die menschliche Existenz mit all ihren Desillusionen thematisiert, galten als repräsentativ für die von Selbstverachtung erfüllte Geisteswelt der damaligen Studenten.

Im Jahre 1965 bekam er für seine Erzählung Seoul, Winter 1964 den Tong-in-Literaturpreis. In dieser Erzählung vollendete der Autor, so die Kritiker, seine einzigartige Literaturwelt, in der er die Alltäglichkeit der Stadt und die innere Welt ihrer sich selbst verachtenden Kleinbürger in seinem typisch trockenen Stil beschreibt. 1977 war er der erste Preisträger des Yi-Sang-Literaturpreis, den er für seine Erzählung Mondschein über Seoul: Kapitel Null verliehen bekam. Dadurch konnte Kim Seung-ok seine Position als erfahrener Schriftsteller festigen. Mit den Erzählungen Die Art der 60er Jahre und Fruchtbarkeit, die eine gewisse erotische Tendenz zeigen, versuchte er, die Desillusion des modernen Menschen zu überwinden. Doch selbst dieser Versuch vermochte nicht seine eigene ungewöhnlich hartnäckige Desillusion zu zerstören. Er wandte sich dem Christentum zu und hörte auf Erzählungen zu schreiben. Seit dreißig Jahren veröffentlicht er Essays über seine religiösen Erfahrungen und lebt als frommer Christ. Seit 1999 lehrt er Koreanische Literatur an der Sejong-Universität.

2004 gab der Verlag Munhakdongnae das gesamte Erzählwerk Kim Seung-oks heraus.[2] [3]


Kim Seung-ok es la quintaesencia de alguien ajeno a los sistemas, sea cual sea ese sistema. Esto era claro incluso en sus primeras obras, en las que adoptó la perspectiva de un marginado romántico. Es sus primeras obras muestra un gran deseo de escapar de los límites de la existencia cotidiana y a menudo lo hace a través de la fantasía o la alucinación. Pronto empezó a reconocer la fuerza de las limitaciones sociales, pero sus obras se muestran incapaces de sobrepasar esa barrera. Pasó a tener una actitud distante y nihilista, en la cual no caben los sueños. El marginado romántico fue sustituido entonces por narradores atomizados en una sociedad indiferente. Sus trabajos posteriores muestran la vida anónima de narradores que están atrapados en una sociedad en proceso de modernización. Finalmente, antes de retirarse de la ficción de forma definitiva, intentó usar la pasión erótica de la misma forma que usó la alucinación y la fantasía en sus primeros trabajos. Sus historias de este estilo no tuvieron una buena recepción.8 Fue guionista de varias películas coreanas, incluidas Mujer de 1968 y La mujer insecto de 1972. Fue el primer escritor coreano que ganó tanto el Premio Yi Sang de literatura como el Premio Dong-in de literatura. Pero después de 1967 empezó a tener menos energía creativa y en 1979 dejó de escribir ficción.9


Il fait partie de ces auteurs évoluant en dehors du système qui ont peu de considération pour ce dernier. Cette caractéristique se trouve présente dès ses premières œuvres qui traitent souvent du thème romantique des marginaux. Dans ses travaux récents, Kim démontre un profond désir d'échapper au quotidien ; il y parvient souvent par des passages empreints d'hallucinations et de visions surréalistes. Il s'est très vite aperçu de la force des contraintes et des normes sociales ; pourtant son œuvre montre aussi une certaine incapacité à surmonter ces contraintes. La narration de Kim tend souvent vers le nihilisme et une certaine forme de distance dans lequel le rêve n'est pas permis. Ces travaux les plus anciens traitent souvent de personnages noyés dans le flot du modernisme. Avant de mettre un terme à sa carrière de romancier, Kim s'est consacré à décrire les passions érotiques dans la même veine de ses descriptions surréalistes et hallucinatoires ; ces dernières œuvres ne reçurent pourtant pas le même accueil favorable que ses premières œuvres7. Kim Seung-ok a également participé à l'écriture des scénarios de plusieurs films dont Femme (1968) et Femme insecte (1972).

Kim Seungok a été le premier auteur coréen à remporter le Prix Yi Sang (il a emporté le prix inaugural en 1977) ainsi que le Prix Dong-in en 1965, pour son œuvre Séoul, hiver 1964. Après 1967, il se consacre de moins en moins à l'écriture avant d'arrêter définitivement l'écriture de romans en 19795.


김승옥(1941~ )은 대한민국의 소설가다.


김승옥은 1941년 오사카에서 출생했다. 1945년 해방 직후 귀국하여 초등학교에서 뒤늦게 한국어를 배웠다. 순천고등학교를 나와 1960년 서울대학교 불문학과에 입학했다. 

대학 재학 중인 1962년 《한국일보》 신춘문예에 단편소설 〈생명연습〉이 당선되어 데뷔하였다. 같은 해 김현, 염무웅, 김치수 등과 동인지 《산문시대》를 창간하고 단편소설 〈건〉, 〈환상수첩〉 등을 발표하였다. 이어서 〈무진기행〉(1964), 〈서울, 1964년 겨울〉(1965) 등 대부분의 대표작을 1960년대 전반에 발표했다. 출판사 샘터의 편집장을 거쳐 세종대학교 국문학과 교수로 재직했다. 2003년 뇌졸중으로 쓰러져 오랜 투병 생활을 했다.

2010년 순천에 김승옥문학관이 건립되었으며, 2013년부터 매년 김승옥문학상을 시상하고 있다.

작품 세계

김승옥은 문체가 감각적이고 소설적인 완성도가 높으며, 1950년대 작가들의 엄숙주의를 비난했다는 평을 받았다. 또한 급격한 산업화 과정에서 속물주의, 출세주의가 득세하는 현실에 적응하지 못하고 방황하는 소시민적 개인의 일상을 주로 그린 작가로 알려져 있다. 

〈환상수첩〉, 〈생명연습〉 등 그의 초기 소설에서는 환상을 좇거나 현실을 초월한 삶에 대한 동경을 담았고, 〈무진기행〉 이후에는 현실의 법칙을 인정하면서 변화하기 시작한다. 

〈서울, 1964년 겨울〉, 〈서울의 달빛 0장〉 등의 후기 소설은 산업 사회에서 꿈을 잃고 살 수밖에 없는 사람들의 상실감을 그렸다. 한편, 《보통 여자》, 《강변 부인》 등 열정적인 연애를 통해 기성 질서에서 벗어나려는 시도를 그린 장편소설들은 통속적이라는 비난을 피하지 못했다.  

그의 대표작인 단편소설 〈무진기행〉은 도시화와 산업화를 배경으로 추억이나 꿈, 낭만이 용납되기 어려운 상황을 묘사했다. 무진 기행은 ‘출세한 촌놈’이 결국 서울 사람으로 살 수밖에 없는 현실을 깨닫는 과정이며, 결말부에서 드러나는 ‘부끄러움’은 세상의 질서에 순응하는 자신을 비판하고 성찰하는 모습을 담고 있다.

한편, 김승옥은 ‘감수성의 혁명’, ‘단편소설의 전범’ 등의 수식어가 붙으며 최초의 한글 세대이자 4‧19혁명 세대를 대표하는 1960년대 문학의 주역 중 한 사람으로 평가된다. 〈무진기행〉으로 전후 세대의 문학을 넘어섰다는 평을 받았고, 〈서울, 1964년 겨울〉로는 1960년대 문학을 대표하는 작가로 인정받았다. 

주요 작품

1) 전집

《김승옥소설전집(전5권)》, 문학동네, 1995.

2) 소설집

《서울, 1964년 겨울》, 창우사, 1966.

《생명연습》, 중앙출판공사, 1971.

《무진기행》, 범우사, 1977.

《위험한 얼굴》, 지식산업사, 1977.

《염소는 힘이 세다》, 민음사, 1980.

《다산성》, 한겨레, 1980.

《햇볕과 먼지의 놀이터》, 산하, 1986.

《환상수첩》, 고려원, 1987.

《산다는 것》, 예원문화사, 1991.

《누이를 이해하기 위하여》, 청아출판사, 1991.

《차나 한 잔》, 민음사, 2017.

《가짜와 진짜》, 보랏빛소, 2018.

3) 장편소설

《60년대식》, 서음출판사, 1976.

《강변부인》, 한진출판사, 1977.

《내가 훔친 여름》, 한진출판사, 1980.

4) 산문집

《뜬 세상에 살기에》, 지식산업사, 1977.

《싫을 때는 싫다고 하라》, 자유문학사, 1988.

《내가 만난 하느님》, 작가, 2004.

수상 내역

1965년 제10회 동인문학상

1977년 제1회 이상문학상

2012년 제57회 대한민국예술원상

2014년 대한민국 은관문화훈장

Original Works24 See More

  • Korean(한국어) Printed/Published Work


    Kim Seungok / 김승옥 / -
  • English(English) Printed/Published Work
    한국현대소설선: 바다와 나비

    Hangukyeondaesoseolseon: badawa nabi

    Ha Keun-Chan et al / 하근찬 et al / 1981
  • Korean(한국어) Printed/Published Work
    김승옥 단편선

    Gimseungong danpyeonseon

    Kim Seungok / 김승옥 / 1976

Translated Books33 See More

E-books & Audiobooks2

  • English(English) E-books
    Modern Korean Literature
    Kim Yujung et al / 김유정 et al / 2012 / KDC구분 > literature > Korean Literature > Complete Collection > Library > Complete Collection & Library (more than 2 writers)
  • English(English) E-books
    The Penguin Book of Korean Short Stories
    Lee Hyoseok et al / 이효석 et al / 2023 / -

E-news9 See More