Politics and International Relations
This paper focuses on the literary representations in the 1950-1960s North Korean socialist literature, on the war experiences and memories in the Eastern Europe, thereby interpreting the interactions between North Korea and its European allies at the time, especially from the viewpoint of postwar socialist building. It examines poems, essays, novels, published in the literary journal Choson Munhak during the 1950-1960s, which had been done by the North Korean writers after their friendship visits to the Eastern European countries. Specifically looking into the representations of both World Wars and their aftermaths, seen in the works published after travels, this paper shows how these writers had made of their European allie’s histories and contemporary socialist constructions, while at the same time, highlighting their efforts to bridge these histories on other parts of the globe to their own country. As well as contributing to building the internationalist ties between their European allies via the narratives and images of the European experiences of war, which would have been not so much familiar to the North Korean masses, these representations of the writers also reflected and constructed the contemporary understanding on their own war, or the Korean War and the postwar discourses on methods to build peace and prosperity. The study will provide a wider angle to the postwar North Korean discourses on peace and reconstruction, by highlighting the comparative perspective that these North Korean writers had on their European allies and their own state under the common context of the postwar socialist constructions.