Sinocentrism of Kerean classical novels
This thesis aims at searching for the movement of self-recognition of Korean classical novels within the framework of the theory of civilization and barbarism華夷論 or the relation between ‘Ego’ and ‘Others’.
Choe-go-un-jeon, written before the latter half of the 16th century, is the earliest work that contains the spirit of insubordination against Sinocentrism(China-centerism). On the contrary, in the full-length-novels after the latter half of the 17th century, Choseon(Ego) identifies itself with China(Others) and excludes other countries in East Asia(Others).
This mental changeover, found in such Kerean classical novels as Changseon-gamui-rok, So-hyeon- seong-rok, and Wanwol-hoemaeng-yeon for the first time in 17th and 18th century, is connected with the rise of Korean-Sinocentrism朝鮮中華主義. Song Si-Yeol宋時烈, the ideologue of Korean-Sinocentrism, advocated the theory of civilization and barbarism ‘in culture’. It means the barbarians can be a new center of Sinocentrism, if they have the orthodoxy of Chinese culture. There are two ways in front of the cultural theory of civilization and barbarism. One is the cultural relativism, and the other is exclusive absolutism. Song Si-Yeol's Korean-Sinocentrism is the irrational absolutism that Choseon can be the new cultural center of Sinocentrism, but Ching淸 dynasty cannot be that. Korean classical novels, from Koo-woon-mong to Ok-roo-mong, move on to follow the cognition of Korean-Sinocentrism.