Until recently, the Korean modern · contemporary bestsellers literature has been regarded as the vulgarly commercial popular literature and alienated from the category of the literature history. The risk of shifting the popularity of the literature to the vulgarity and the possibility of combining the commercialism with the vulgarity are always open. But it should not be overlooked that the bestsellers literature has been indeed read by a great many of readers and stepping further, it should he noted that it has formed the wide variety of the reader’s base and has a powerful impact. Consequently, centered on the genre of the poem especially in the 1980s~1990s out of the Korean modern · comtemporary bestsellers literature, this research is intended to explore the reading psychology of the then-readers reflected on the bestsellers poems and the social needs.
In the literature circle, as at the beginning of the 1980s, the literature played a role of spreading the logic of the social reform, the issue of the social ideology surfaced. The key word which dominated the literary world of the 1980s was the gigantic dicourse of the correlation between the literature and the society. In the course, in 1985 many collections of poems became the bestsellers and as a result, that year was called the age of a collection of poems. Since the publication of Sister Lee Hue-in’s collection of poems, 『Although I Come Up As a Half Moon』, the same poet’s collections, 『The Dandelion's Territory』, 『Setting Fire to My Soul』, and 『That We love Is』 had all enjoyed popularity and the strong yearn for them continued to the following year 1986. Also, in 1987, the love-themed poems prevailed and Seo Jeong-yoon's collection of poems, 『Standing Up On My Own』, Do Jong-hwan's collection of poems, 『You, Hollyhock』 and Kim Cho-hye’s collection of poems, 『Love Exorcism』 earned huge reputation for the consecutive two years until 1988. To the extent which it was called the palmy days of the poem genre, lots of bestsellers were come up. By the way, all of these poems have something in common mat they were oriented toward the individual’s secret emotional world, above all, the emotion of the ‘pure-hearted love’, instead of the objective social reality. That is, as a product of the inevitable combination of the pure literature and the commercial literature, such bestsellers collections of poems at those times could be seen as having a sharing element of an escape or departure from of the then-Korean ideology-oriented political · social environment.
The literature phenomenon in the 1990s started to change into the aspects of the capitalistic commodity sales. In particular, what stood out was that the collections of poems formed the brisk distribution structure enough to exceed the one million copies-mark as a commodity and enjoyed the best days of the bestsellers collections of poems. In 1992 and 1993, Won Tae-yeon's collection of poems, 『While You Sometimes Think Of Me, I Sometimes Think About Something else』tremendously sold out and in 1994, Choi Young-mi's 『30-Years-Old, The Festivity Was Over』 hit the mega bestsellers. In 1995 and 1996. Lee Jeong-ha’s『Although You are a Radiant Beauty, I am Moving to Tears』 earned the people's love. And in 1997, Ryu Shi-hwa's 『One-eyed Fish’s Love』was recorded in the bestsellers list and the following year the same poet's 『Even Though You are Beside Me, I Miss You』 was popular. In addition to them, a variety of poets’ similar works continued to pour out and posted the hugh sales records. However, those poems were all same in that they were aiming at the ultimately ‘designed love’ which was ubiquitous around us. That is to say, in the mid-or late- 1980, while as the progressive literature was going backward, the sharply-emerged-governing ideology's false consciousness combined with the commercialism through the medium of the 'pure-hearted love’ and as a result, the popularization of the literature was brought in, in the 1990, it began to show the tendency of rapidly getting popularized by intertwining with the post-capitalistic economy system.
When describing the Korean modern · contemporary literature history, it is difficult to discuss the value of the work if we are to evaluate it from the reader's perspective and on the other hand, if we are to do it from the writer’s perspective, it is difficult to discuss its essence. As a consequence, in order to entirely evaluate the standing of the work and describe the objective literature history, we need to pay attention to the flow of the those days’ bestsellers literature. The more continuos attention on the detailed study on from the work, publication planning, limes situations and print industry structure factors of the bestsellers literature to the systematic study on the relationship of each factor is required.