Epistolary Korea Letters in the Communicative Space of the Choson, 1392-1910
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Description: JaHyun Kim Haboush expands the definition of "epistle" to include any writing that addresses the intended receiver directly, and in doing so, she introduces the rich range of Choson epistolary practice. Choson Korea produced an abundance of these writings, which share some similarities with the genres of neighboring countries (China especially) yet retain their own historical trajectory. Therefore Choson epistles makes for exciting comparative reading and defines a distinct, non-European form of epistolography.Written in both literary Chinese and vernacular Korean, the writings collected here range from royal public edicts to private letters and recast the relationship between epistolography and the concept of public and private space, as well as the division between classical and everyday language, and men and women. Haboush groups her epistles according to where they were produced and consumed: public letters, letters to colleagues and friends, social letters, and family letters. Then she organizes them according to the occasions for which they were written: letters of leaving home, deathbed letters, letters to the dead, and letters of fiction. She examines the mechanics of epistles, their communicative space, and their cultural and political meaning. Her work reclaims the humanity of pre- and early modern Korea and records a vivid chronicle of Korean life from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries.
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Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 4/14/2009
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
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