Daesan Literary Awards


THe 16th(2008)
The Daesan Literary Awards are presented to works published during the previous year in the main literary categories of poetry, fiction, drama, criticism, and translation. Embodying the highest literary value, the selected works serve as major examples of Korean literature. The Daesan Literary Awards aims to contribute to the development and globalization of Korean literature, carving out its niche as a world class literary award worthy enough to represent Korea. According to the first stage development plan, the Daesan Literary Awards is awarded through a screening process conducted on a rotating basis for translation (Spanish translations being eligible in 2008), awarded through a two-stage screening process -an initial and final screening- for poetry and fiction, and awarded after a single screening process for prizes in drama, criticism, and translation; the length of the screening period was extended (the initial screening took place between June and August and the final screening took place between September and October) along with the intensification of the reading stage. A secret vote conducted by the five final judges decides the winning works. According to the second stage development plan, which was enacted in 2007, the management of the awards was upgraded: the prize money for fiction was increased, eligible novels were restricted to full-length novels, eligible books were reduced to books published between August of the previous year to July of the year the award is to be given.

Works published or performed between August 2007 and July 2008 were eligible for this year's award, and the initial screening process took place for three months starting from the middle of June; the winning works were selected according to genre after the final screening process which lasted for over two months beginning near the end of August. The 2008 award winners exemplified the influence of the most prominent figures in our literary world; in the poetry category, Your First by Kim Hyesoon won, shocking people with its splendid images and novel, inimitable metaphors. In the fiction category, Nagasaki Papa by Koo Hyoseo was awarded the top prize with its natural depiction through everyday life profound themes such as the current issues of the time, questions of identity, and family history intertwined in history. In the drama category, A Package by Jung Bokgeun depicts a dark history in a concise manner, making issue of a stifling, irresolvable condition; in particular, the work is highlighted by its usage of superlative metaphors and symbols, its touching and solemn speech, and its creative plot among other aspects. In the criticism category, A Crisis of Meaning by Kim Inhwan presented a broad and balanced view regarding literary history and a detailed reading based on humanities knowledge. The translation award for works translated into Spanish was not awarded this year.

The winners in each category received a plaque, and the fiction prize winner was awarded 50 million won. The winners in the other categories were awarded 30 million won. The prize money totaled 140 million won; in addition, the award-winning works in poetry, fiction and drama will be included among other works that will receive translation support in 2009. They will be published by major foreign publishing companies in a wide variety of languages, increasing the exposure of Korean literature abroad. The awards ceremony was held at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 28 in the main hall of the Sejong Hall, in the Sejong Cultural Center.