Popularization of 'Chinese Cultural Studies' Viewed through Modern Study Materials for Writing Letters in Chinese and the Significance
Chinese character was the cultural studies exclusive for the upper class during the Middle Ages. However, during the modern period of Korea, it came to be popular cultural studies through the Chinese letter textbook, Modern Study Materials for Writing Letters in Chinese. This research investigated the phenomenon of spread of modern study materials for writing letters in China since 1900. Through this, this research searched the point that the ability to write Chinese letters came to stand out as 'refinement of the modern people’.
Modern study materials for writing letters in Chinese was a popular practical book, a kind of best-seller that sold the most among the modern publication. The first modern study materials for writing letters in Chinese, Kim, woogyun's <Complete version of Cheokdok(尺牘完編, Chukdokwanpyun)> was sold as many as Choi, nam-seon's <Simundokbon(時文讀本, the Anthology of Contemporary Writing)> or Lee, gwang-su's <Mujeong(無情, Heartlessness)>. The point that major writer of modern study materials for writing letters in China was a publisher proves that the Study materials for writing letters in Chinese left the publisher with profit.
The three points that this research intended to focus on and determine in respect of this spread phenomenon of Modern study materials for writing letters in Chinese are as follows. First, literacy of 'writing' Chinese letters stood out as an important refinement of the public during that time. Second, among those who intended to acquire ability of writing Chinese letters, there were 'classical scholars', traditional intellectuals of that period. Third, 'Study materials for writing letters in Chinese' was popular, since the functional character of the genre, 'letter', was cognized necessary by the modern people.
Through this Modern study materials for writing letters in Chinese, the public of that period got closer to 'Chinese characters' that symbolized the authority of the past, accordingly, Chinese characters became the refinement of the public. This has a significance to newly view the existing recognition of literary history that modern Chinese characters have merely declined.