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The Elegy Poetry of Ernest Thomas Bethell in Daehan Maeil Sinbo

  • The Studies in Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Abbr : Korean Poetry and Culture
  • 2016, (38), pp.105-140
  • Publisher : The Society of Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

KIM AYUN 1

1전남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Elegy Poetry of Ernest Thomas Bethell(Korean name: 배설(裵說)) in Daehan Maeil Sinbo. Bethell was born on November 3rd 1872 in Ashley Bristol, UK. He went to Kobe, Japan in 1886, and then he was engaged in foreign trade there. However, the Russo-Japanese war broke out in 1904, he came to Korea as a special correspondent of Daily Chronicle. But Since The Independent(founded in 1896) ceased publication in 1899, thus, English-Language newspaper is no longer being published in Korea. For this reason, he published Korea Daily News in English and Daehan Maeil Sinbo in Korea. That year Korea Daily News and Daehan Maeil Sinbo resisted against The Waste Land Concession Requested by Japanese Colonialism, this matter caused deep conflict between Bethell & Embassy of Japan in Korea. After that the overall tone of Korea Daily News-Daehan Maeil Sinbo were critical of the Japanese Colonialism. So He was a sticky issue for the UK and Japan, because the two countries were leagued together(The Anglo-Japanese alliance, in 1902 and 1905). Finally, in 1907 and 1908, the UK and Japan jointly charged him as a agitators who stir up divisions between Korean people and Japanese government are dangerous and took some of the articles in Korea Daily News-Daehan Maeil Sinbo as a evidence in court. After the 2nd round of trial(1908), he lay on a bed of illness in early March 1909, and died of a dilation of the heart on May 1st 1909. The next day, he was buried in Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery. The his funeral was attended by a large gathering of Korean mourners. Daehan Maeil Sinbo Company put advertisement in their newspaper from May 5th to 10th, and encouraged newspaper subscribers to send elegy to remember UK journalist Bethell’s death to their company. Thus, newspaper subscribers sent 6 Elegies written in Korean: 「ᄋᆡ고ᄋᆡ고」(May 6th), 「ᄇᆡ셜씨 상ᄉᆞ에 통곡」(May 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 30th for each poetry, but having the same title). This paper revealed that the contents of 6 Elegy Poetries consisted mostly of Invocation of the spirits of the dead, the dead’s specific achievements, praising and lamenting the dead, the cause of death, having resolved his deep sorrow, resentment over his death, the grief of survivors who had lost him, blessing wishes for survivors themselves and pledging to the deceased. Based on that, this paper analyzed the significance of the Elegy Poetry of Bethell. Firstly, the Elegy Poetry of Bethell takes the forms of communication between the dead and survivors for the literary figuration of death and makes changing social attitudes and behaviors of survivors for enlightment, self-cultivation and independence throughout survivors’ speech acts. Secondly, the Elegy Poetry of Bethell was published in Daehan Maeil Sinbo, and shared the contemporary task such as enlightenment, self-cultivation, independence with subscribers. Thirdly, the Elegy Poetry of Bethell continues the tradition of Korean Elegy Poetry started from 「Gongmudohaga」.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

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