Clear Commandments

20th Century Korean Literature

Book 26
Literature Translation Institute of Korea

In “Clear Commandments” (Myeongmun, 1925), a free play of imagination is on display in a story that in fact introduces God as an important character. The text begins in a realistic mode, as it explores familial strife between a son and his parents as a result of his conversion to Christianity. After death, however, the protagonist finds himself in a heavenly court, where he must justify a life based on self-righteous and self-serving interpretation of doctrine to a harshly critical and mocking Jehovah. In depicting a society in the midst of social ferment and intergenerational conflict, the story in many ways predicts Kim Dong-ni’s renowned “Portrait of a Shaman”, written a decade later, which also treats the collision of worldviews between a shaman mother and her Christian son.
Read more

About the author

Kim Dong-in (1900 – 1951), together with Yi Kwang-su, is one of early modern Korean literature’s representative writers of “pure” fiction. His debut work “The Sorrow of the Weak,” which appeared in the journal Changjo (Creation) in 1919, is considered the first Korean short story to focus in earnest on character development and psychological analysis. A clear, concise style is the hallmark of Kim’s writing. As the first author to adopt the plain past tense “-ieottda” style and to establish an objective stance in fiction with a third person point of view, he is regarded as having employed a realistic technique and well-rounded character types, in contrast to Yi Kwang-su, who saw literature as a vehicle for enlightenment and whose characters were more flatly drawn.
Read more
2 total

Additional Information

Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Read more
Published on
Nov 30, 2014
Read more
Read more
Read more
Read more
Literary Collections / Asian / General
Literary Collections / General
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.