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The images and characteristics of dogs recorded in Filgi and Yadam of the Joseon Dynasty

  • Korean Language & Literature
  • 2019, (110), pp.77-108
  • DOI : 10.21793/koreall.2019.110.77
  • Publisher : Korean Language & Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature
  • Received : July 26, 2019
  • Accepted : September 16, 2019
  • Published : September 30, 2019

Han, Eui-Soong 1

1전남대학교 인문학연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper investigates Korean literature of Joseon Dynasty renders dogs as life partner while trying to engage in a critical conversation with to the recent trend of extreme individualism exemplified as the emerging culture Hon-Bab(eating alone) and Hon-Sul(drinking alone). Especially it highlights the changing aspects of historical recognition and meaning demonstrated in the literature of dog in Filgi(筆記) and Yadam(野談) in Cho-Sun era. Literary records of dogs are often found in Chinese essays such as oh-gu-seul-wha, chung-gu-jeon and eui-gu-jeon. However, most of the records utilize and summon dogs for the service of humanity, especially as merely educational means. To the contrary, dog images described in Filgi and Yadam reveal the interesting aspects diverging from the majority of the records. First of all, the images of dogs described in Filgi are highly domestic and the context of the literature is mostly observational of their biological characteristics. Whereas, Yadam describes dogs as members of family that are included in human life. The difference between these two viewpoints basically comes from the different characteristics of two genres. However, if we take a close look at the differences, we can read that the divergence of dog recognition also reflects on the perspectival differences. The core of recognition on the different views depends on how far those perspectives try to make distances between human being and dogs. Therefore, the observations on domestic animals’ various characteristics and the dog images as life partner forming intimate relationship with their masters are special parts because it shows that the early Cho-Sun classical scholars engage with attentive observations while most of dog images were used as educational means.

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.