A Study on the Extant Editions of the Namgyeyeondam
This study examined the characteristics of all extant editions of the Namgyeyeondam, including the Kim Gwang-sun Edition(KGSE), the Jangseogak Edition(JSGE), and the Seoul National University Edition (SNUE), through the theoretical lens of textual criticism. This study employed four research methods, namely, criticism by comparison of different editions, criticism by comparison of different paragraphs within the same edition, criticism by comparison of different books that share similar content, and criticism through analysis of the truth. The Namgyeyeondam was written with reference to various Chinese materials. These materials can be roughly divided into three categories: first, materials compiled by the Ming or Qing Dynasty government; second, Chinese classical novels; and third, that which is difficult to ascertain the exact source, such as, folk tales and unofficial histories. The KGSE edition of the Namgyeyeondam provides more details to the story, making it more interesting to readers in comparison to the JSGE and the SNUE editions, which simplify details through omission of some words. Although these simplifications do not necessarily hinder the comprehension of the main narrative, they have an adverse effect on the completeness of the story. Unfortunately, a third of the KGSE edition of the story is missing, so despite its positives, it cannot portray the complete story of the Namgyeyeondam. Hence, although the SNUE edition may be lacking in some details, among the extant editions it is the only one that has the full content of three books and five episodes. Thus, it possesses significant value among all extant editions.