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Characteristics of Garam Lee Byung Ki’s Sijo Criticism and Significance of Ancient Sijo Collection

  • The Studies in Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Abbr : Korean Poetry and Culture
  • 2016, (38), pp.267-297
  • Publisher : The Society of Korean Poetry and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature

Cho, Haesug 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article is studying Garam Lee Byung Ki's discussions on sijo and ancient sijo collection titled [역대시조선](Collection of sijo of all time) in order to review his academic orientation and his researches' achievements and effects. Through this study, following fact became possible to identify; when it comes to re-illuminating 'tradition', Lee's theories on sijo and his sijo movement is closely related with writing sijo, but also with researching ancient sijo. The core of contemporary theories on sijo and sijo criticism of his time, which was accomplished by Lee with his extensive knowledge and in-depth analogy, can be summed up into few points. First, sijo is poetry not with a fixed form but just with a 'guideline', which makes it free and flexible. Second, sijo needs to be separated from music and renew its content while maintaining its form. Third, authors of sijo should be able to express their feelings frankly. Lee Byung Ki didn't consider sijo to be versatile or some of its aspects having absolute value, though he emphasized the merit and significance of sijo as a classical poetry. He tried to re-establish sijo as living literature by its flexibility of form, by describing scenery and be lyric and by selecting main ideas that can be meaningful to one's era. Also he pioneered specific and detailed sijo criticism which presents specific degree and point that makes a piece of sijo aesthetically beautiful. Before him, sijo criticism was generally abstract and ideological. Lee's overall understanding on sijo like this can be discovered in his book [역대시조선](Collection of sijo of all time), where he collected and selected pieces among ancient sijo. This book is providing explanation about important words, backgrounds of authors and creations. Furthermore, confirmation of concrete data was done on pieces of an unidentifiable era or author. Pieces of which lyrics were confused among people was corrected through comparing and contrasting different versions. Lee Byung Ki was being practical and pragmatic when it comes to sijo. His theory on sijo and sijo criticism were based upon practical acts such as speeches or contributions. [역대시조선](Collection of sijo of all time) showed a way to succeed sijo by proving excellence and aesthetic of ancient sijo as fixed verse. We have to make his attempt and concerns to be continuously ongoing by connecting ancient and modern sijo and putting strenuous efforts on writing and studying about sijo.

Citation status

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