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The embellishment of the death and the aesthetic of the sublime

  • Journal of Korean Literature
  • 2012, (25), pp.75-116
  • Publisher : The Society Of Korean Literature
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature
  • Published : May 31, 2012

Kim Yu Jin 1

1서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Simha-jeontu(深河戰鬪), the battle of Simha(深河) was a momentous incident that affected the relations of East Asian countries in the 17th century. The Joseon Dynasty dispatched 15,000 troops into the battle, but 9,000 people were killed in action. Besides the Simha-jeontu(深河戰鬪) was branded as a gruesome defeat, the only hero in the battlefield was Kim Eung-ha by his heroic death. Park Hui-hyeon, one of the literary men in the Joseon Dynasty created the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」). The Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」), the narrative for Kim Eung-ha’s life is a text of the memory and testimony owned by the dispatched. Through the creative writing, Park Hui-hyeon figured Kim Eung-ha as a self-cultured and fighting man. Consequently Kim Eung-ha became a sublime hero by virtue of this work. An important point the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」) has is Sino-centralism that symbolized by aesthetic ideals. The death of Kim Eung-ha, a tragic event in itself takes on the sublime beauty through a process of aesthetic transition. It should be discussed with regard to the aesthetic category of the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」). Kim Eung-ha’s behavior was sublimated into an aesthetic ideology of Sino-centralism by the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」). It is an appropriate point of view that the Ming Dynasty’s request for additional troops could have been refused softly by the sublimed story of Kim Eung-ha. But the purpose of the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」) had been also to refuse the request of the Ming Dynasty might have something unreasonable. Paying due regard to such factors like that the generals who had surrendered have been condemned extremely more than the blame for the Later Jin Dynasty(後金), the target of the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」) might have been some insiders in the Joseon Dynasty. In this estimation, the target might be representatively the 15th king of the Joseon Dynasty, Gwanghaegun(光海君). The Chungyeol-rok(『忠烈錄』)- the records of devoted and faithful lists the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」) could be classified one of the publication that holds each other in check between the power of throne(王权) and the power of retainers(臣权). The subsequent writers had been affected by the text of the Kimjanggun-jeon(「金將軍傳」). The Chungyeol-rok(『忠烈錄』) had been published four times. And manifold literary men had left some kinds of the narrative for Kim Eung-ha. The 22th king of the Joseon Dynasty, Jungjo(正祖) who had published the Reprint of Chungyeol-rok(『重刊忠烈錄』) built an ideologic sublime of Sino-centralism. The series of the narratives for Kim Eung-ha shows three phases. That is ‘the pursuit of political subjectivity’, ‘the pursuit of facts’ and ‘the placation and consolidation of ideology’. Representing the loyalty to the Ming Dynasty, the narrative for Kim Eung-ha had been suffered the ups and downs of the noble ideals.

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