The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea
Author: JaHyun Kim Haboush
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Lady Hyegyong's memoirs, which recount the chilling murder of her husband by his father, form one of the best known and most popular classics of Korean literature. From 1795 until 1805 Lady Hyegyong composed this masterpiece, depicting a court life Shakespearean in its pathos, drama, and grandeur. Presented in its social, cultural, and historical contexts, this first complete English translation opens a door into a world teeming with conflicting passions, political intrigue, and the daily preoccupations of a deeply intelligent and articulate woman. JaHyun Kim Haboush's accurate, fluid translation captures the intimate and expressive voice of this consummate storyteller. Reissued nearly twenty years after its initial publication with a new foreword by Dorothy Ko, The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong is a unique exploration of Korean selfhood and an extraordinary example of autobiography in the premodern era.
Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics is an essential, all-access guide to the core texts of East Asian civilization and culture. Essays address frequently read, foundational texts in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese, as well as early modern fictional classics and nonfiction works of the seventeenth century. Building strong links between these writings and the critical traditions of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, this volume shows the vital role of the classics in the shaping of Asian history and in the development of the humanities at large. Wm. Theodore de Bary focuses on texts that have survived for centuries, if not millennia, through avid questioning and contestation. Recognized as perennial reflections on life and society, these works represent diverse historical periods and cultures and include the Analects of Confucius, Mencius, Laozi, Xunxi, the Lotus Sutra, Tang poetry, the Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, and the writings of Chikamatsu and Kaibara Ekken. Contributors explain the core and most commonly understood aspects of these works and how they operate within their traditions. They trace their reach and reinvention throughout history and their ongoing relevance in modern life. With fresh interpretations of familiar readings, these essays inspire renewed appreciation and examination. In the case of some classics open to multiple interpretations, de Bary chooses two complementary essays from different contributors. Expanding on debates concerning the challenges of teaching classics in the twenty-first century, several pieces speak to the value of Asia in the core curriculum. Indispensable for early scholarship on Asia and the evolution of global civilization, Finding Wisdom in East Asian Classics helps one master the major texts of human thought.
This book introduces important contributions in the humanities by a select group of traditional and modern Korean women, from the 15th through the 20th centuries. The literary and artistic works of these women are considered Korean classics, and the featured artists and writers range from a queen, to a courtesan, to a Buddhist nun, to unknown women of Korea. Although women's works were generally meant only to circulate among women, these creative expressions have caught the attention of literary and artistic connoisseurs. By bringing them to light, the book seeks to demonstrate how Korean women have tried to give their lives meaning over the ages through their very diverse, yet common artistic responses to the details and drama of everyday life in Confucian Korea. The stories of these women and their work give us glimpses of their personal views on culture, aesthetics, history, society, politics, morality, and more.
Representing an unprecedented collaboration among international scholars from Asia, Europe, and the United States, this volume rewrites the history of East Asia by rethinking the contentious relationship between Confucianism and women. The authors discuss the absence of women in the Confucian canonical tradition and examine the presence of women in politics, family, education, and art in premodern China, Korea, and Japan. What emerges is a concept of Confucianism that is dynamic instead of monolithic in shaping the cultures of East Asian societies. As teachers, mothers, writers, and rulers, women were active agents in this process. Neither rebels nor victims, these women embraced aspects of official norms while resisting others. The essays present a powerful image of what it meant to be female and to live a woman’s life in a variety of social settings and historical circumstances. Challenging the conventional notion of Confucianism as an oppressive tradition that victimized women, this provocative book reveals it as a modern construct that does not reflect the social and cultural histories of East Asia before the nineteenth century.
Letters in The Communicative Space of the Choson, 1392-1910
Author: JaHyun Kim Haboush
Publisher: Columbia University Press
By expanding the definition of "epistle" to include any writing that addresses the intended receiver directly, JaHyun Kim Haboush introduces readers to the rich epistolary practice of Chos?n Korea. The Chos?n dynasty (1392-1910) produced an abundance of epistles, writings that mirror the genres of neighboring countries (especially China) while retaining their own specific historical trajectory. Written in both literary Chinese and vernacular Korean, the writings collected here range from royal public edicts to private letters, a fascinating array that blurs the line between classical and everyday language and the divisions between men and women. Haboush's selections also recast the relationship between epistolography and the concept of public and private space. Haboush groups her epistles according to where they were written and read: public letters, letters to colleagues and friends, social letters, and family letters. Then she arranges them according to occasion: letters on leaving home, deathbed letters, letters of fiction, and letters to the dead. She examines the mechanics of epistles, their communicative space, and their cultural and political meaning. With its wholly unique collection of materials, Epistolary Korea produces more than a vivid chronicle of pre- and early modern Korean life. It breaks new ground in establishing the terms of a distinct, non-European form of epistolography.