Low Pressure Front

20th Century Korean Literature

Book 44
Literature Translation Institute of Korea

In “Low Pressure Front,” Cho Myung-hee explores a common trope of colonial-era Korean literature: the frustrated intellectual struggling to make a living in the face of limited opportunities. Trapped between the constant crisis mode and the inescapable boredom of poverty, the speaker in this story reflects Cho’s socialist leanings and his interest in the downtrodden, but the acerbic voice and intimate point of view lend an unexpected touch of humor to an otherwise familiar narrative.
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About the author

Cho Myung-hee (1894 – 1938), pen name Poseok, was born in 1894 in Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, as the son of a poor scholar. He graduated from Jungang High School in Seoul and studied philosophy at Toyo University in Japan. In 1919 he was arrested and jailed for participating in the March 1st Movement. He made his literary debut in 1925 with the publication of “Into the Ground” in Gaebyeok magazine, and published his most well-known short story “The Nakdong River” (1927) in Joseonjigwang magazine.

A representative writer of the Japanese colonial period who followed the communist ideologies of KAPF (Korean Federation of Proletarian Art), Cho went into exile in 1928 in the Maritime Province of Siberia in the Soviet Union in order to escape a Japanese crackdown. In 1934, he served as an executive of the Far East chapter of the Soviet Union of Writers and also published his epic poem, “Goryeo Trampled.” He was arrested by the Soviet military police in 1937 and deported to Tashkent in Uzbekistan. In 1938, he was reportedly executed by firing squad at a Khabarovsk prison. His publications include a collection of poems, On a Spring Lawn, and a collection of stories, Into the Ground.
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Additional Information

Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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Published on
Nov 30, 2014
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Literary Collections / Asian / General
Literary Collections / General
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