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Anthology of Korean Literature: From Early Times to Nineteenth Century (UNESCO Collection of Representative Works: European) Paperback – February 1, 1983

ISBN-13: 978-0824807566 ISBN-10: 0824807561 Edition: First Paperback Edition
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Korean --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: UNESCO Collection of Representative Works: European
  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press; First Paperback Edition edition (February 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824807561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824807566
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #605,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Lee covers prose and poetry. Showing the richness of Korean literature and its historic antecedents. Perhaps the book can be considered in part an affirmation of the very existence of Korea, since it has had the unfortunate fate of often being dominated by China and Japan.

The stories give insight into the Korea of their times, and of the general cultural outlooks implied by the narratives. The poetry is quite different from Japanese haiku, and the selected poems are short. It is unclear whether there are any classic long Korean poems, or whether Lee just decided to present us with short ones.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ferro on April 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this large selection of prose, stories, poems and pansori, drawn from numerous contributors. Many of the passages are brief verse or short stories, so you can continually pick up and put down this book, reading it in easily digestible bite-size chunks. Just enough to give you a thought for the day or to look at if you have ten idle minutes.

The verse is well translated and even in English you can get a sense of the rhythm, tone and beauty of the work.

It also offers a view into the history of a country. Those familiar with Korea will like the picture of the natural, rural past (which contrasts with the largely urban industrialised nation today). The book as a whole leaves a peaceful, pleasing image. It reflects a former time of great cultural diversity and richness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eclectic Bookworm on September 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Anyone interested in Korean literature would benefit from reading this book. However, there are a few things to be aware of.

First, I believe it was Dr. Lee's intent to make these works available to the broadest possible audience. Rather than make his readers work, he occasionally presents the material within the context of Western literature. This sometimes makes for awkward reading, like I was reading old English or French literature rather than Korean literature.

Additionally, I felt it limited my understanding of the work and the context in which it was written. One example is the poem found on page 19, "Ode to Knight Kip'a". For someone familiar with Korean history, I wondered what Dr. Lee's usage of the word "knight" was intended to represent. In checking it against another source (Understanding Korean Literature by Kim Hunggyu, translation by Robert J. Fouser), the same piece was titled "Ode to Hwarang Kip'a". I was surprised to recall Dr. Lee had referenced the "Hwarang" in his introduction. He stated "the hwarang was an indigenous institution which recruited men of ability for national service and educated them as soldiers, statements and poets". The usage in this instance referred to a soldier of the Silla dynasty.

Secondly, I would have liked to see more explanation as to why these selections were deemed to have literary merit as well as some guidance on how they should be understood.

All that being said, this anthology is truly a comprehensive collection of the finest representative works of the major genres of Korean literature. I am not aware of any other book to date that surpasses it in breadth. Pair it with "Understanding Korean Literature" by Kim Hunggyu Understanding Korean Literature (New Studies in Asian Culture)and you will be rewarded.
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Format: Paperback
There is a lot in here, in this wonderful anthology. Of particular interest to me (and perhaps to you) is a wealth of Buddhist thought (in prose and in poetry). Enjoy.
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