Arts and Culture
This paper examines the similarities and dissimilarities between European Theatrical patterns introduced to Korea via Japan and the theatrical practices of the MEP – the French Catholic missionaries who came to evangelize the country. After reconstructing the political and cultural context of the time marked by the Japanese occupation and the westernization of Korea, we present and analyze a novel corpus found in the archives of the Catholic Church in Seoul. It consists of two types of manuscripts and duplicated texts: small fragments of plays performed at the Yongsan seminary in Seoul from 1912 to 1920 and a play which was written in Latin by French missionary Emile Devred (1877-1926) in honor of one of the most famous Korean martyrs, and one of its first priests, Father Andrew Kim: Acta et Gesta Venerabilis Andreas Kim. In addition to the Latin version, I have found two translated adaptations of this play – which, as it was customary in the early 20th century in Korea, was written in both Korean and Chinese characters – as well as a third version published in serial form in Kyŏng Hyang (1921-1922), an important Catholic magazine in Seoul. The study of the dramatic work is complemented by the analysis of an article on the Korean Catholic Church’s particular point of view on theater ( "The Understanding of the theatre", fevrier 1917). This paper contributes to highlight the misunderstandings at work in the process of acculturation.
Mission catholique (MEP) , theater, Korea, France, acculturation