Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - From traditional to modern: The forms, themes, and circulation of extended novels in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Korea

Saturday, July 7
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Gulmohar, First Floor

Extended novels, t’aejangp’yŏn sosŏl大長篇小說, appeared in the 17th century and were produced until the 20th century. These works were based on lineages and families, and depicted relationships between spouses, wives, and concubines. Unknown authors created them. Over their centuries-long existence, extended novels broadened their readership and circulation methods from elite female readership and handwritten circulation to printing by movable type and broader readership in 20th century. Moreover, some t’aejangp’yŏn sosŏl had sequels, which were usually based on the same lineages as their prequels but focused on next generations and composed different themes. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, this genre became part of urban popular (mass) culture. Despite the fact that the genre thrived during the period of transition from traditional literature to modern literature, its shifts in form, themes, and circulation were not properly discussed. This essay focuses on the Hassisǒnhaenghudaerok 河氏善行後代錄, the sequel to the widely circulated work Pyǒkhǒdamgwanjeǒllok 闢虛談冠諸諺錄, explores the experiences of the female protagonist, Lady Hwang, who pursues gender equality and private space. It examines her alongside the female characters of other works, who demonstrate the shift from traditional values to non-traditional ones such as gender equality and the female’s position in society. This paper argues the unknown authors created female characters, and themes that were uncommon for previous works, within the frames and structures that were familiar to the readers.

Uliana Kobyakova

Keimyung University, Republic of Korea

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2 - From traditional to modern: The forms, themes, and circulation of extended novels in late 19th-century and early 20th-century Korea



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