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Trotsevich A.F. The Plots of Chinese Fiction In Korean Vernacular Novels // Literaru Migrators. Traditional Chinese Fiction In Asia (17-20th centuries). Ed. by C.Salmon. Beijing 1987. P. 85-105.


An attempt was made to outline some Korean vernacular novels, in which plots borrowed from the Chinese fiction are used. I dealt here only with the problem of the contents of literary works, trying to ascertain which elements of the Chinese plots were preserved in the Korean novels, which were changed and what was added to them by the Koreans. It must be said, that one can also observe phenomena of the kind described above in vernacular versions of the Korean literary works originally written in hanmun (classical Chinese written by Koreans). For instance, «The Nine Cloud Dream» by Kim Manjung (1637-1692) written in hanmun was circulated as a vernacular work for common people. That romance was not only shortened, but was also turned from a work of philosophic profundity into a piece of amusing reading.

The adduced instances allow me to draw the following preliminary conclusions: 1. the Korean translators of the Chinese xiaoshuo did not bother to give an exact rendering of the original text; 2. the Chinese work was changed and obtained the form of a vernacular novel of the kind popular among ill-educated readers; 3. such «translations» of the Chinese xiaoshuo were circulated in cheap edition as works of vernacular fiction. Thus they became the property of Korean literature for the common people; 4. It was not only a translation from one language to the other, but also a transformation from one genre to the other, as well as a bringing down from a higher to a lower level of literature.


The entire paper


Korean translations of Chinese xiaoshuo
Korean vernacular novels
«The Nine Cloud Dream»

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