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The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing

The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/journal-of-korean-studies/article-pdf/27/1/109/1503304/109wang.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 19 April 2022 Book Reviews The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Cho- sŏn in Sinographic Writing, by Si Nae Park. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020. 328 pp. $65 (hardcover). What does it mean for a story to be “vernacular?” Si Nae Park’s new book, The Korean Vernacular Story, tackles this question by examining a celebrated collec- tion of Korean stories from the Chosŏn period, the Tongp’ae naksong (Repeatedly Recited Stories of the East) compiled by the late Chosŏn writer No Myŏnghŭm (1713–75). Although the title is celebrated for representing Chosŏn’s vernacular (read: local, Korean, non-Sinitic) culture, at first glance it seems to completely miss the mark. Instead of han’gŭl, the vernacular Korean alphabetic script, the text is in Sinitic (Chinese characters). This apparent contradiction, however, exists only because of a faulty approach to Chosŏn Korean vernacular culture, one that Park’s book aims to correct. The significance of Park’s intervention must be understood in light of wider debates surrounding late Chosŏn linguistic and script culture. The Tongp’ae nak- song, as well as the genre it belonged to, the yadam (glossed by Park as “unoffi- cially circulating stories” [2]), has http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing

Journal of Korean Studies , Volume 27 (1) – Mar 1, 2022

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Copyright
Copyright © 2022 Journal of Korean Studies Inc.
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1215/07311613-9474318
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Downloaded from http://read.dukeupress.edu/journal-of-korean-studies/article-pdf/27/1/109/1503304/109wang.pdf by DEEPDYVE INC user on 19 April 2022 Book Reviews The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Cho- sŏn in Sinographic Writing, by Si Nae Park. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020. 328 pp. $65 (hardcover). What does it mean for a story to be “vernacular?” Si Nae Park’s new book, The Korean Vernacular Story, tackles this question by examining a celebrated collec- tion of Korean stories from the Chosŏn period, the Tongp’ae naksong (Repeatedly Recited Stories of the East) compiled by the late Chosŏn writer No Myŏnghŭm (1713–75). Although the title is celebrated for representing Chosŏn’s vernacular (read: local, Korean, non-Sinitic) culture, at first glance it seems to completely miss the mark. Instead of han’gŭl, the vernacular Korean alphabetic script, the text is in Sinitic (Chinese characters). This apparent contradiction, however, exists only because of a faulty approach to Chosŏn Korean vernacular culture, one that Park’s book aims to correct. The significance of Park’s intervention must be understood in light of wider debates surrounding late Chosŏn linguistic and script culture. The Tongp’ae nak- song, as well as the genre it belonged to, the yadam (glossed by Park as “unoffi- cially circulating stories” [2]), has

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2022

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