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Literary Images of Whale: Based on the Works of Yi Sik (李植)

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2012, (26), pp.213-246
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

Lee, Gi-dae 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Whale has been traditionally recognized a typical sea animal, and has invoked a wealth of imagination in our mind particularly due to its gigantic body. That is why whale often appears in various artistic categories including literature. In the same context, this study focuses on the literary works of Yi Sik (李植) to discuss literary images of whale that appears in classical literature. Literary images of whale that appears in Yi's works develop in various aspects, but they can be classified broadly into 4 categories: First, they are embodiment of whale's dynamic appearances. Secondly, they use whale as a means of metaphor and embodiment about people's life in literary illustration. Thirdly, they use the images of whale to embody the designation of certain figures in social and historical aspect. Fourthly, they highlight cultural images of whale on the basis of ancient Chinese poet Li Po(李白)'s traditions or symbolism as Jongeo(鐘魚)This way, the images of whale revealed in Yi Sik's works are full of dynamics and are closely connected to our life in reality. And this is different from our thinking about abundance of sea and the precious value of environment when whale comes to our mind, because scientific knowledge about whale is generalized among people, but the width of our imagination about whale becomes ironically narrowed. Therefore, it is expected that continuous concerns for the images of whale appearing in ancient literature will contribute to more affluently improving our literary understanding about whale and sea.

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