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Open access edition: DOI 10.6069/9780295747828

The invention of an easily learned Korean alphabet in the mid-fifteenth century sparked an “epistolary revolution” in the following century as letter writing became an indispensable daily practice for elite men and women alike. The amount of correspondence increased exponentially as new epistolary networks were built among scholars and within families, and written culture created room for appropriation and subversion by those who joined epistolary practices.

Focusing on the ways that written culture interacts with philosophical, social, and political changes, The Power of the Brush examines the social effects of these changes and adds a Korean perspective to the evolving international discourse on the materiality of texts. It demonstrates how innovative uses of letters and the appropriation of letter-writing practices empowered elite cultural, social, and political minority groups: Confucians who did not have access to the advanced scholarship of China; women who were excluded from the male-dominated literary culture, which used Chinese script; and provincial literati, who were marginalized from court politics. New modes of reading and writing that were developed in letter writing precipitated changes in scholarly methodology, social interactions, and political mobilization. Even today, remnants of these traditional epistolary practices endure in media and political culture, reverberating in new communications technologies.

The Power of the Brush is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) and the generous support of Emory University and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page, Series Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Note on Romanized Terms
  2. pp. xiii-2
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  1. Prologue: A Story of Letter Writing in Twenty-First-Century Korea
  2. pp. 3-9
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  1. 1. Letter Writing in Korean Written Culture
  2. pp. 10-35
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  1. 2. The Rise and Fall of a Spatial Genre
  2. pp. 36-71
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  1. 3. Letters in the Korean Neo-Confucian Tradition
  2. pp. 72-98
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  1. 4. Epistolary Practices and Textual Culture in the Academy Movement
  2. pp. 99-127
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  1. 5. Social Epistolary Genres and Political News
  2. pp. 128-144
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  1. 6. Contentious Performances in Political Epistolary Practices
  2. pp. 145-181
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  1. Epilogue: Legacies of the Choson Epistolary Practices
  2. pp. 182-194
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 195-212
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 213-238
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 239-262
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 263-276
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780295747828
Related ISBN
9780295747804
MARC Record
OCLC
1141959360
Pages
290
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-14
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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