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Life of Ahn Seowoo and the Background of His Sijo Creation

  • The Studies in Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Abbr : Korean Poetry and Culture
  • 2016, (37), pp.33-62
  • Publisher : The Society of Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Yongchan Kim 1

1순천대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Ahn Seowoo is a nobleman of late Chosun dynasty and sijo author who bequeathed 19 sijo works. Previous studies focused on only one of his works <Yuwonshibigok>, while his life and the background of work creation were discussed unreliably. Recently a new material that enables reconstitution of his life was found, which made it possible to study his consciousness as a writer as well as his oeuvres. This article discusses Ahn Seowoo’s oeuvres comprising his entire works including <Yuwonshibigok> and his life based on the material. The lives of noblemen of late Chosun dynasty were closely connected to the political posture of those days and so was the life of Ahn Seowoo who was a member of Nam(southern) Party. In late 17th century when Ahn Seowoo passed the state examination, severe power struggle between the members of Nam Party and Seo(western) Party was in progress. This study expiscates based on various records that he resigned in 1712 because of party strife and retired to hermitage in Jecheon, Chung-Cheong Province. It is also found that several sijo works of his were created while he was in Jecheon, which is different from the reports of previous studies. <Yuwonshibigok>, which has been known to be composed of 13 stanzas, is found to be a stanzaic sijo consisting of 12 stanzas, in which ‘former 6 stanzas’ and ‘latter 6 stanzas’ are in close correspondence. Most works of his sing nature, showing cognition of self-sufficiency of staying in nature. However, Ahn Seowoo returned to the political world soon and resigned when he was 63. Afterward he stayed in Muju, Jeolla Province until he died when he was 72. <Yuwonshibigok> seems to need further investigation in terms of its structure and content, which will be investigated in more detail in a future study.

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