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九雲夢 Kuunmong A Translator’s Note

九雲夢 Kuunmong A Translator’s Note A Translator's Note Kuunmong By Heinz Insu Fenkl im Man-jung's Kuunmong (c. 1689) predates Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe--which is often considered the first English language novel--by some thirty years. Along with Kim Si-sp's Kmosinhwa and H Kyun's Hong Kil-dong chn, it is one of the seminal works of prose fiction in Korean literature. Its status and impact throughout the years are interestingly parallel to that of Dante's Divine Comedy; the Buddhist and Taoist themes in Kuunmong play out in Korean literary and intellectual culture in much the same way Dante's confrontation of Catholic themes resonated throughout Europe. Both works can also be read as deeply personal and laden with individual satirical agendas. The basic plot of Kuunmong is that of an edifying fantasy: for disobeying his master and doubting his vocation, a young Buddhist monk is made to endure an incarnation as the most ideal of men, his life full of fabulous material, martial, and sensual accomplishments. In the end the monk wakes up, once 357 again on his meditation mat, to learn that reality and dream are interpenetrating and ultimately indistinguishable. Both Korean and Western scholars are in general agreement Azalea that Kim Man-jung (1637-1692), a member http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture University of Hawai'I Press

九雲夢 Kuunmong A Translator’s Note

Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture , Volume 7 (1)

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
ISSN
1944-6500
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Abstract

A Translator's Note Kuunmong By Heinz Insu Fenkl im Man-jung's Kuunmong (c. 1689) predates Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe--which is often considered the first English language novel--by some thirty years. Along with Kim Si-sp's Kmosinhwa and H Kyun's Hong Kil-dong chn, it is one of the seminal works of prose fiction in Korean literature. Its status and impact throughout the years are interestingly parallel to that of Dante's Divine Comedy; the Buddhist and Taoist themes in Kuunmong play out in Korean literary and intellectual culture in much the same way Dante's confrontation of Catholic themes resonated throughout Europe. Both works can also be read as deeply personal and laden with individual satirical agendas. The basic plot of Kuunmong is that of an edifying fantasy: for disobeying his master and doubting his vocation, a young Buddhist monk is made to endure an incarnation as the most ideal of men, his life full of fabulous material, martial, and sensual accomplishments. In the end the monk wakes up, once 357 again on his meditation mat, to learn that reality and dream are interpenetrating and ultimately indistinguishable. Both Korean and Western scholars are in general agreement Azalea that Kim Man-jung (1637-1692), a member

Journal

Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & CultureUniversity of Hawai'I Press

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