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Korean Literature

  Tags: Literature | Korean
 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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3 posts - 3 votes
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 Message 1 of 2
10 March 2009 at 9:50pm | IP Logged 
As you have a wide knowledge of Korean culture and the Korean language I wanted to ask whether you could name some of the most remarkable authors and books written in this language (might also include philosophy or other areas).
Currently I'm studying the Korean language and as my aim is also to read great literature in the languages I study, I would also like to know more about Korean literature, but unfortunately resources on Korea in general are scarce and limited.
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United States
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609 posts - 2100 votes 

 Message 2 of 2
24 March 2009 at 7:02pm | IP Logged 
Run, don't walk, to get the two volume Sourcebook of Korean Civilization edited by Peter H. Lee and published by Columbia University Press. The combined 1,500 pages of these two tomes consist of translated texts on a wide range of subject from history through literature and philosophy. If you do not know this already, then I have to inform you that most "Korean" literature (i.e., texts authored by Korean people) was not written in Korean at all, but in Classical Chinese, well up to the 20th century. My personal favorites are the 삼국사기 (c.1145) by 김부식 and the 삼국유사 (c.1283) by 일연. These are the two main sources of preservation of earlier mythical and legendary material. The late 17th century novel 구운몽 by 김만중 contains a magically harmonious blending of all the disparate elements of East Asian culture as a whole, and has thus been held by some to be the best overall introduction to this civilization. Among more contemporary novelists, I believe 이광수 (author of 흙, 무정, etc.) holds something of the stature of "father of modern prose." Finally, as my North Korean Reader finally goes to press, I am already beginning to compile the selections for my next book, which will be a [/]Korean Fiction Reader in which I hope to provide a chronological selection illustrative of the development of the short story in the post-liberation period.

Alexander Arguelles

Edited by ProfArguelles on 24 March 2009 at 7:06pm

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