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Annie Baird's Interest in Literary Mission in the Late 19th Century and SaitPyuljeon

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2021, (52), pp.203-234
  • DOI : 10.20516/classic.2021.52.203
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose
  • Received : January 26, 2021
  • Accepted : February 9, 2021
  • Published : February 28, 2021

Hur, Soonwoo 1

1부산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the activity of Annie Baird, who visited Korea in 1891 and committed herself to missionary work in the country before her death in 1916, and her interest in literary mission expressed in early mission pamphlets and the fiction titled SaitPyuljeon. Annie Baird arrived in Korea in 1891 as a missionary of North Presbyterian Church. She carried out her missionary work in Busan and Daegu until 1897, when she moved to Pyongyang and continued proselytizing efforts. In particular, her work focused on literary and educational mission, and her perception and interest in this regard is carefully studied in Chapter 2. Annie Baird authored her Korean novel, SaitPyuljeon, well before she lived in the country for 10 years. The story is about a young girl name SaiitPyul(Morning Star for Korean), who was brave and devout enough to sacrifice herself to sow the seeds of faith in a religiously barren land. The fiction, as part of a mission pamphlet, takes the form of question and answer, which helps readers understand Christian doctrine easily. It also depicts day-to-day situations that are familiar to potential readers, thereby helping them easily relate to the story. In chapter 3, the fiction is broken down into two aspects, i.e. writing techniques and the contents, and analyzed separately. Thus far, SaitPyuljeon, written by Baird in 1899, was largely regarded simply as a preliminary work anticipating later works created by Annie Baird, including Daybreak in Korea, Go Young-Gyujeon. However, the fiction epitomizes her effort to create documents for missionary work that has far-reaching impact. Also, the story should be appreciated in its own right as an early-day missionary work document, especially given that it presents key Christian principles and the model Christian in a concise as well as detailed fashion.

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