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The Novels of Park Jiwon: Translation of Overlooked Worlds

Translated by:
Publisher: , 2011
Link to online store *

This book is a collection of translations of the complete short stories of Park Jiwon. Park Jiwon’s novels are populated with the full range of individuals who had been entirely excluded from the literary lens of Joseon (1392-1910). Park’s writings are an exploration of the full range of human experience in society. But rather than attribute insights on moral issues to Confucian sages as did his peers, Park places his words in the mouths of beggars, con men, day laborers and widows. Those who had no voice in Joseon society are given a chance to articulate their perspectives in the language of the scholar: literary Chinese. But these novels are not simplistic tales of empowerment either. They are permeated by irony and ambiguity. The low-mimetic protagonists make Korean high society appear ridiculous, but they themselves do not escape ironic treatment. The importance of moral action may be the explicit message of many of the novels, but the tales are rife with anecdotes of uncertainty and even futility. (text from Goodreads)


  1. The Tale of the Horse Traders
  2. The Tale of Mister Virtue of Filth
  3. The Tale of Elder Min
  4. The Tale of Gwang Mun the Beggar
  5. The Tale of the Yangban Scholar
  6. The Tale of the Daoist Immortal Mr. Kim
  7. The Tale of the Virtuous Woman née Park of Hamyang
  8. The Tale of Student Heo
  9. An Upbraiding by the Tiger
  10. The Tale of Usang


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