Re-consideration on Choi Chi-won's Prose
The purpose of this paper is to raise questions about the existing perspectives that evaluated the prose of Choi Chi-won(崔致遠, 857～?) based on pianliwen(騈麗文) only and carry out a thorough review of the literary style and personality of his proses. Based on Gyewonpilgyeongjip(桂苑筆耕集), his prose collection written under the flag of Go Byeong(高騈, 821～887) during his stay in Tang China, all people from the literary men in the past to the contemporary researchers, have recognized Choi Chi-won as a writer of pianliwen. However, some proses different from rated pianliwen are captured in Gowoonjip(孤雲集) and Gowoonsokjip(孤雲續集) which were written after he returned to Shilla. On this paper, we tried to research the elements of pianliwen and the elements of ancient-style proses from his proses for the first time as he showed the slightly different literary style from the formal style since he returned to Shilla, unlike while he stayed in Tang China where he wrote only a formal pianliwen, and we thought it very important phenomenon regardless of the weight.
First, it was needed to identify clearly what the elements of pianliwen are, in order to classify the elements of pianliwen and the elements of ancient-style proses from the proses of Choi Chi-won. Through his proses on Gyewonpilgyeongjip, we could find his techniques that used the related idioms of ancient events properly while keeping Pyeongcheuk(平仄) and Daejang(對仗) strictly in order to clarify his intentions. We continued to study his proses written after he returned to Shilla through Gowoonjip and Gowoonsokjip. At this time, we examined the proses by classifying into Jueui type(奏議類) which is same style of the prose written during his stay in Tang China and different style Japgi type(雜記類) and Biji type(碑誌類). First, for Jueui type, we found that there was not a difference formally from his prose during his stay in Tang China but he created and used the terminology such as ‘Jejam(鯷岑)’ or ‘Shinhak(蜃壑)’ which means ‘Shilla’ for the first time which showed a big difference in terms of the content. For Japgi type and Biji type, it was found that he showed new writing style away from the strict form of pianliwen. He could not obey the rule of Daejang and Pyeongcheuk as he quoted the original sentences as they are without adding or deleting from the sources of quotation, and even he did not follow the four-six letter rhyming couplets which is the basic form of pianliwen. This is explained that he focused on the contents rather than the form. As the background of this change, it is possible to present the situation of the Chinese literary world at the macro level and direct and indirect relationship with Chinese writers at the micro level. In short, it can be said that at least until the Tang Dynasty, the relationship between pianliwen(騈麗文) and ancient-style proses(古文) was not very exclusive, and the Chinese literary style was directly or indirectly accepted, creating a new style of writing.
In brief, this paper is the result of our efforts to reconsider the writing style and personality of Choi Chi-won's proses. Based on this paper, if more detailed observation and analysis were carried out about the form and contents of his proses, we will be able to look at the stature of Choi Chi-won and the history of Chinese-language literature of Korea in a new light.