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Examination of the Significance of Gajeonche Novels - Centering around Hwawangjeon and Hwasa -

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2015, (58), pp.47-77
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : July 19, 2015
  • Accepted : August 5, 2015

parkhyemin 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is aimed at examining the meaning of the so-called gajeonche novels (personified biographical novels) and figuring out its characteristics based on a critical perspective that the term “gajeonche novels” had been established in the process of describing the history of literature rather than as the outcome of a close and precise analysis of the works. Gajeonche novels have largely been understood as a fictionalized genre that had inherited the pattern of personification and biography. The original pattern of a biography form in the genre was modelled after that of the Records of History (Shǐjì; 史記) by the Han dynasty official Sima Qian and the novel form followed the style of the Book of Documents (Shujing; 書經) and the Spring and Autumn Annals (Chunqiu; 春秋). It shows that there existed a clear and fundamental distinction between a personified biography as the record of individuals and a personified biographical novel as the record of a period or big events. This paper, therefore, has analyzed Hwasa (A History of Flowers) known as the first gajeonche novel and Hwawang-jeon (A Story of Flower King) written in a biography form, and examined their differences in terms of style. In terms of patterns, Hwasa freed from the conventional pattern of “narration,” “tracks” and “Concluding” and followed the mode of “narration,” “tracks and Historical criticism” and “Concluding” In terms of contents, Hwawang-jeon depicts a story that the life and death of Flower King corresponds to the rise and fall of the Flower Kingdom. In Hwasa, however, the death of Flower King is followed by the appearance of another King and the birth of a new dynasty, thus following the pattern of “rise,” “fall” and “rise” Such differences were derived from the difference of the awareness of time. In other words, a biography is based on the finitude of time, while a gajeonche novel presupposes the continuity of time. Accordingly, this paper suggests the use of a new term bongiche novel rather than the time-honored gajeonche novel. The bongiche novel is fully based on the continuity of time and the syntactic awareness of history as its inner principle. In terms of pattern, the bongiche novel utilizes the personification and the technics of narrating history, and authentic precedents. In terms of contents, it deals with a country’s civilization and institutions with focus on the achievements of kings and explains the issue of the maintenance or the change of a dynasty.

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