Tales of the Strange by a Korean Confucian Monk

Tales of the Strange by a Korean Confucian Monk : Kumo sinhwa by Kim Sisup

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One of the most important and celebrated works of premodern Korean prose fiction, Kumo sinhwa (New Tales of the Golden Turtle) is a collection of five tales of the strange artfully written in literary Chinese by Kim Sisup (1435-1493). Kim was a major intellectual and poet of the early Choson dynasty (1392-1897), and this book is widely recognized as marking the beginning of classical fiction in Korea.The present volume features an extensive study of Kim and the Kumo sinhwa, followed by a copiously annotated, complete English translation of the tales from the oldest extant edition. The translation captures the vivaciousness of the original, while the annotations reveal the work's complexity, unraveling the deep and diverse intertextual connections between the Kumo sinhwa and preceding works of Chinese and Korean literature and philosophy. The Kumo sinhwa can thus be read and appreciated as a hybrid work that is both distinctly Korean and Sino-centric East Asian. A translator's introduction discusses this hybridity in detail, as well as the unusual life and tumultuous times of Kim Sisup; the Kumo sinhwa's creation and its translation and transformation in early modern Japan and twentieth-century (especially North) Korea and beyond; and its characteristics as a work of dissent.

Tales of the Strange by a Korean Confucian Monk will be welcomed by Korean and East Asian studies scholars and students, yet the body of the work-stories of strange affairs, fantastic realms, seductive ghosts, and majestic but eerie beings from the netherworld-will be enjoyed by academics and non-specialist readers alike.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 402 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 35.56mm | 703.07g
  • Honolulu, HI, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • 0824882598
  • 9780824882594

About Dennis Wuerthner

Dennis Wuerthner is a researcher and lecturer at the Korean Studies Institute of Ruhr University Bochum.

Robert E. Buswell, Jr holds the Irving and Jean Stone Endowed Chair in Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he is also Distinguished Professor of Buddhist Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and founding director of the university's Center for Buddhist Studies and Center for Korean Studies.
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