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One Aspect of Late 17th Century's Entertainment Culture Seen Through a Korean classical long Novel, Sohyeonseongrok

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2015, (31), pp.41-83
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

Hur, Soonwoo 1

1부산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Most of existing studies about entertainment culture -- especially adult entertainment culture -- which take classic literature and works of art as their subject are focusing on their appearance and significance since 18th century. However, as many of them describe the culture to have developed more ‘relatively’ and ‘earnestly’ than precedent era, the question arises that what was the development of entertainment of mid-late 17th century like. Thus, this study examined the entertainment culture perceived by people of mid-late 17th century -- for it was the ‘transition period’ to ‘late Choseon Dynasty true to the name’, between Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592 and the Second Manchu war of 1636 and 18th century -- and what can be understood through the culture, as Sohyeonseong-rok, a 17th century's Korean classical long Novel, its subject. Not only aiming to confirm that the games and hobbies reproduce the entertainment culture of the time, but this study also focused on the appearance and significance of the fact that there existed cultural tendencies and preferences with which various plays and hobbies could be imagined, accepted, and described in the same forms as in the novel. In chapter 2, the appearance of entertainment culture from the work is examined with division into two categories of ‘consumptive leisure activities inside and outside the house’ and ‘hobbies of collecting and growing luxury items’. And in chapter 3, based on what was dealt with in chapter 2, entertainment culture from Sohyeonseongrok is understood to be significant, owing to its internal function which gives various colors by strongly exposing worldly desire and taste at the back of ideology. With an external focus on the work, unlike existing arguments that interest in extravagance and pleasure raised its head only after 18th century in Choseon society, the novel gets its significance from the fact that it clearly shows the desire of upper classes of mid-late 17th century to enjoy extravagance and pleasure without being bound to frugality.

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