Hagiography of the Kims and the Childhood of Saints: Kim Jong-il
‘Through literature, art, song and ritual, North Korea meticulously embeds the childhoods of its leaders in the national consciousness. Imitating the medieval lives of saints, and apocryphal infancy narratives of Christ, the lives of the Great and Dear Leaders–known respectively as “Immortal History” and “Immortal Leadership”–are key exempla for the intergenerational transmission of revolutionary ideology, especially for children…’
Introducing the first of a two-part series exploring the childhood hagiographies of the North Korean leaders. In this, the first installment, I explore the youthful exploits of Kim Jong-il, ‘the heaven-sent boy’ of Mount Paektu.