Premodern Korean literature comprises vernacular works such as the shijo and kasa verse forms, as well as prose tales, memoirs, diaries, and other materials. It also includes a vast amount of writing in classical Chinese, both poetry and prose, formal and informal. Although these two strands, vernacular Korean and classical Chinese, are generally considered in mutual isolation in studies of Korean literature, they commingle in various ways. The Korean language makes use of a large store of words of Chinese origin. Korean literary works, whether written in the vernacular or in classical Chinese, frequently cite Chinese literary or cultural/historical examples. Given the apparent influence of Chinese upon Korean, how has the Korean identity articulated and sustained itself? This study of Korean shijo verse explores the very permeable boundaries between the two realms to see if—and, if so, how—the areas of transition may mark the outlines of what is Korean in Korean literature.


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pp. 92-104
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