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The Authentic Power of Debunking Literature: Focusing on Famine Poems*

Hong Sung Sook
Cheongju Univ.


The ‘debunking literature’ can contribute to improving the society by revealingthe social maladies, lightening the truth and exposing the evil to the world, whosegenuine power lies in digging the truth even often running the risk of death. Thispaper aims to confirm why the poems describing the on-going famines in NorthKorea and the past ones in Ireland belong to debunking literature and what poweror effect they have or they are expected to have. For this, I established somehypothesis through my reading on famines and examined the effects Irish literatureon the Irish Great Famine has brought to the development of the Irish Society inadvance.
And through my investigation, I could confirm that North Korea’s refugee poet,Mr. Jang Jin Sung exposed extreme poverty and misery by contrasting the dyingand innocent people with the cruel despotic regime sometimes in a strongly directway and that the Irish famine poems of Mangan, Yeats and Heaney focused on theGreat Britain’s hypocritical and indifferent colonial policy on the Irishstarvation-stricken people in a roundabout way. Moreover, reading famine poems ofthe two nations led me to compare North Korea’s famine poems with those ofIreland: they look similar in the respect that they portray the miserable scenessurrounding a mass of population who died of famines and spotlight political neglectas the main reason, but look very much different in the respect that, in a sharpcontrast with any of Irish poets, North Korea’s refugee poet, Mr Jang Jin Sung, ranthe risk of even his death to expose the despot regime that slaughtered, and is stillslaughtering, its own people that has no liberty to escape from the starvation.
My last conclusion is that the courageous poet, Jang’s pains will lead to the betterment of North Korea’s human rights just as Irish famine poems haveinfluenced the development of Irish politics, history and culture deeply.


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