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

Examining the <i>Alba</i> Literary Style in Korean Classical Poetry Based on a Comparative Analysis with Chinese Literature

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2014, v.54 no.2, pp.87-104
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2014.54.2.87

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Abstract

This study analyzes the elements of the alba, a Western literary style, in Korean classical poetry and the tradition of the alba within the history of Korean literature. Alba appear commonly in the literature of various cultures, but the contrast of their expressions in Chinese and Korean literature is particularly revealing. Here, a comparative analysis of Korean and Chinese examples highlights the unique characteristics of Korean classical poetry, with its ample cultural heritage. The archetypal expression of alba in Chinese classical poetry first appeared in folk songs; alba were then incorporated in the literature written by Neo-Confucian literati (sadaebu), and they eventually disappeared from the Chinese tradition. However, analysis demonstrates that the conventions and implementation of alba are more clearly explored in Korean than in Chinese classical literature. Therefore, it will be important in future research to extend this approach to a comparative analysis between Korean and Western classical literature to rediscover the universality and individuality of Korean classical poetry.

keywords
alba Korean classical poetry Chinese literature eroticism

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