ISSN : 1229-0076
This study aims to revisit the reception of Du Fu in the literary history of Korea, focusing on its canonicity and textuality. Jibong yuseol, an encyclopedic collection from 17th-century Joseon, Korea, vividly demonstrates how the author Yi Sugwang (1563–1628) attempted to subvert the transcendental positions of literary canons by positioning them in the networks of textual exegesis. Challenging the notion of canon as a perfect and fixed entity, Yi historicized the reception of Du Fu in Joseon and traced how this particular body of text became the most influential part of the canon and could be also deconstructed through interpretative performances. Highlighting the textuality of literary canons, which was considered fluid and flexible, this paper unravels the networks of interpretation drawn from the thousands of references found in Jibong yuseol. Special emphasis of this research also will be placed on the changing “material conditions” of the day, particularly after the Imjin waeran (1592–1598) war between Korea and Japan. The post-war intellectual environment witnessed the influx of a large number of books on Ming and Qing scholarship and prompted a significant shift in the perspective of the Joseon literati.