Does the Sinitic literati tradition operate with real metaphor, or only with metonymy? Does Confucianism lack transcendence in the sense of (a set of) ideas that allow a distancing of self from world and society, beyond politically motivated reclusion, or is it entirely bound to the normative power of the factual? As a contribution to tackling these conjoined questions, this article discusses the use of metaphor in two long songs (gasa) by 16th century Korean literati who certainly self-identified as Confucians: Song Sun’s “Myeonangjeongga” and Jeong Cheol’s “Gwandong byeolgok.” Through a study of figurative language in these two works, it is shown that true metaphoricity does take place, but more conspicuously and effectively at the level of extended metaphor than on the level of individual similes; and that a major effect of this metaphoricity is the creation of a sense of transcendence. By emphasizing the important place of the expression of transcendence as a liberating force in both poems, the paper makes an implicit argument concerning the religious dimension of Confucianism that an immanence-transcendence distinction, the code of religious language, is at work in Confucian texts, serving Confucian aims.
Against the backdrop of different texts from the collected writings of Kim Siseup (dharma-name Seoljam), this article offers an against-the-grain reading of Kim’s famous collection of strange tales Geumo sinhwa (New Tales of the Golden Turtle). It is hypothesized that Kim’s life as well as his fictional and non-fictional literature can be viewed in the tradition of earlier Chinese and Korean anti-Buddhist Neo-Confucian thinkers such as Cheng Hao, Zhu Xi, or Jeong Dojeon. Through close-reading and by discussing such issues as funerary rites, burial practices, “unhappy” Confucians, and the persuasive power of storytelling, the author aims to show that Geumo sinhwa may be understood as a piece of narrative anti-religious propaganda-fiction meant to dissuade a specific 1460s younger Korean Neo-Confucian readership from turning toward seemingly soothing religion, and as an agenda-driven work designed to thwart a revival of Buddhism on the state level.
This paper uses “A Travel to Diamond Mountains” (1930) and its author Jo Aeyeong (1911–2000) to explore gender and modernity, community and individuality, and distinctions between tradition and modern in a literary genre. It starts by juxtaposing Jo and her contemporaries, especially Baek Sinae (1908–1939), to examine the complexities of a woman writer situating herself in the early twentieth century. Noting the contexts and opportunities that affected each woman’s path forward, it challenges the usefulness of established stereotypes or slogans such as “New Women” and “Wise Mother Good Wife” in understanding this era. The paper then reads Jo’s travelogue alongside other travelogues by women, including those communally written in kasa form. In doing so, it complicates the implicit contrast between tradition and modern and illuminates changes to the “traditional” form of kasa. Along with Jo’s “Diamond Mountains,” women writers and their writings featured in this paper as a whole embody a moment of adaptation, flourishing, and decline within the evolution of women’s literature in Korea.
The voices of ancestors and other souls play a pivotal role in storytelling, evident in both novels and Shamanistic rituals dedicated to ancestors. In both domains, these voices serve as conduits for conveying wisdom, insights, and messages from an individual’s deeper spiritual realm and the realm of the deceased in the “other world.” The predominant scholarly perspective distinguishes these narratives primarily based on their context and purpose. This paper aims to explore the shared narrative characteristics, or verisimilitudes, between contemporary novels and musok (Korean shamanism). Employing a comparative approach, this study centers on the communication between inhabitants of “this” and “that world” as the primary narrative device. It defines time and space according to the typology of communication and delves into language and narrative characteristics, with a particular emphasis on the role of the reader-receiver in interpretation. In essence, this study examines how these voices shape storytelling and influence the plot in both novels and rituals. This perspective is substantiated by excerpts from novels and recorded gongsu (oracle) sessions gathered during my previous fieldwork. Among the novels, Hwang Sok-yong’s Princess Bari (2015) and Han Malsook’s Hymn of the Spirit (1983) will be taken into consideration.
This study is aimed at examining problems in the supportive networks according to the policy for expanding the attraction of foreign students, which has been so far promoted, and proposing the task for improving the network to support foreign students, in order to develop into a multicultural society. To this end, the first step was to examine social positions of foreign students in the Korean multicultural society. In other words, it was found that the attracting of foreign students had a social meaning as a task to strengthen international competitiveness of colleges of the nation, beyond the supplying of freshmen to colleges and guarantee social changes in the labor market and the demographic structure. Next, there also were problems of the foreign student-related policies promoted by the Korean government and the following network for supporting foreign students that they were focused on symptomatic prescriptions, they had a one-sided adaptation method and they were concentrated on the timing of residence. Through this, the study suggested three tasks of the network for supporting foreign students, in order to realize a desirable multicultural society. First, a network considering the development into a multicultural society to share with foreign students should be established. Second, the network should be established in the perspective of mutual communication with foreign students. Third, the network should be established in a way to secure long-term continuity considering the life of foreign students after studying in Korea.