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An Anthology of Traditional Korean Literature

This revised, expanded anthology, compiled and edited by pioneering scholar and translator Peter H. Lee, offers a representative selection of traditional Korean literature. Its rich and diverse selections, covering all genres and forms written in classical (literary) Chinese and the vernacular Korean language, were chosen for both their literary merit and socio-historical engagement with their times. Divided into four parts-verse, prose, fiction, and oral literature-representing the four major branches of traditional Korean literature, it includes previously undervalued or suppressed texts such as Koryo love lyrics, shamanist narrative songs, and p’ansori-creations composed in the mind, retained in memory, sung to audiences, and heard, not read. Every effort has been made to render Korea’s literary past credibly and meaningfully. With its fresh translations and new examples of oral literature and fiction, this comprehensive, one-volume anthology will provide students and general readers with the means to gain a deep appreciation of Korean literature and its interconnections with other East Asian literatures.

LKL says:

It is indeed a generous selection from a wide range of genres. So far I’ve only managed to dip into one of the vernacular prose stories: an extract from the anonymous The Story of Lady Pak, which tells the tale of a heroic woman who led the Korean resistance to the 1636 Manchu invasion. Great fun.

Entry on Goodreads.com here.

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