This study aims to clarify the form and subject of ‘Aeguijeon’(愛鬼傳), from the perspective of viewing it as a fictional work by paying attention to the creative aspect of Yu Mong-in (1559-1623). The eventual goal of this paper is to establish the literary and historical value of this work and expand understanding of Yu's life and literary world.
‘Aeguijeon’ has not been well known so far because it is not included in Yu's official collection of writings, Oujip. Instead, only Mukhogo, written by the writer himself only records this work. Originally this work has no title, but as the influence of Chae Soo's Seolgongchanjeon in the previous era can be found and several important fictional composition principles are also seen in this work, this paper named this work "Aguijeon." The 'fictional composition principles' found here are summarized into the following three.
One is a parody of the existing literary style. Yu Mong-in dared various stylistic experiments in the work by parodying existing literary styles such as petitions to the king, recreating ghost stories prevailing at the time. Also, he metaphorically likens "Aegwi" to Kim Ga-si, a court lady who wielded power in the royal court of the time. For the last, he has used polysexual voice. Numerous ghosts appear in this work and their voices are revealed in various ways, all of which are conveyed through a message heard by Yu Mong-in from someone else. In addition, his own voice is mixed in the middle, and various languages and voices are mixed.
Throughout these composition methods, Yu primarily tried to criticize the corrupted world of the time. At the time of writing this work, he was in an extremely unstable state living a politically failed life, and the critical consciousness of the court drove him to create this work. Meanwhile, he is expressing his pride in himself, who has lived morally perfect life throughout his life by expressing his resentment to the ghostly world, while expressing his delivery of his own depression.
Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the literary value of ‘Aeguijeon’ as a fiction, which is a special work that reveals emotions such as sarcastic criticism, self-esteem, anger, fear and anxiety through human and ghost conflict.