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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

The World of Circulation: The Universality of Literary Value in the Guunmong and the Divine Comedy

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2008, v.48 no.1, pp.198-233
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2008.48.1.198

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Abstract

This essay aims to measure the universal literary value of the GuunmongbyKim Man-jung. To properly measure the universality of the Guunmong, weneed to shed new light on its universal dimension, which, however, leads to the inevitable question of what universality is. The literary values in the Guun-mongcan be communicated to diverse readers, texts, and contexts. This islinked to the work of comparing the classics of center and periphery, and show- ing the differences and commonalities between them, so as to rethink the sig- nificance of universality of literary value. The Divine Comedyis adopted for this work, which concentrates on how theGuunmong, as a classic work from the periphery, can maintain universal liter-ary value through its textual power to abolish the division of center and periph- ery itself. I explain this by analyzing such literary effects in theGuunmongasfolding, harmony, ambivalence, appropriation, inclusion, and relativ- ity, concepts that all constitute the structure and concept of circulation. Although I intend this work to be a radical reconsideration of universalityin literature, I do not necessarily aim to pull down the center in favor of the periphery or vice versa, but rather to clarify that plural universalities exist, and the resultant new horizontal, democratic, and mutually productive rela- tionships among them need to be highlighted in the work of examining liter- ary value. This is what theGuunmong, with its structure and philosophy ofcircularity, accomplishes so well and what qualifies it as a classic.

keywords
universality literary value circulation folding harmony ambiva-lence appropriation inclusion relativity

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