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

A Comparative Study of Gukhanmun Style in Seoyu gyeonmun and Mixed Style in Seiyo jijo: On the Formation of Gukhanmun Style in Korea

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2014, v.54 no.2, pp.105-127
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2014.54.2.105

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Abstract

This article analyzes the role Yu Gil-jun’s Seoyu gyeonmun (Observations on a Journey to the West) played in the development of gukhanmun, a mixed-script writing style composed of Korean and literary Chinese. The article begins with an examination of Seoyu gyeonmun’s stylistic relationship with Fukuzawa Yukichi’s Seiyo jijo (Conditions in the West). By analyzing the integration of literary Chinese in the two books, this study will present Yu Gil-jun’s unique stylistic achievements and their influence on Korean literary tradition. While Seoyu gyeonmun may have acquired information about the modern West and ideas about constitutionalism and freedom from Seiyo jijo, in terms of syntax the work is more similar to eonhae (Korean translations of Chinese classics). Yu’s rearrangment of the syntactic order of Literary Chinese to fit Korean is likely a legacy of the Korean tradition of the translation of Chinese classics, rather than the influence of Japanese syntax. This exhibits the uniqueness of gukhanmun style in Seoyu gyeonmun, in contrast with the stylistic traits of Seiyo jijo. Moreover, Seoyu gyeonmun displays signs of the author’s active involvement in shaping the text through the editing and rewriting that occurred in the process of translation and adaptation.

keywords
gukhanmun style Seoyu gyeonmun Seiyo jijo Yu Gil-jun Fukuzawa Yukichi Korean translation of Chinese classics (eonhae) literary Chinese

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