Publisher: Seoul Selection
Pub. Date: Jan. 2005
Softcover: 236 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 10.04 x 6.85 x 0.43
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|>>>This book is written in English.|
About This Book
The author has adapted a few of Korea's favorite traditional stories to the stage, with songs and extensive historical and cultural notes, for a modern audience. These plays are based on stories from Korea in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they are still being told in the 21st century, in their original pansori venue but also on TV, stage and film. While Joseon Dynasty was closed off from the rest of the world, it was developing a world-class literature. Four of the five plays in this book are dramatizations of pansori, one of old Korea's most highly-developed performance arts; you may already have heard about Chun Hyang, Hungbu and his brother Nolbu, Hare and the Sea Palace, or Ong Go-jip. The other play is based on the popular short story, Grandpa's Wen. All of these stories were passed down orally through many generations, developing all along in complexity and sophistication, until the 18th and 19th centuries, when they were set down in written form. Confucians wrote the moral lessons into the stories; but loyalty, honesty, modesty and generosity are basics in any system of values. All of us will cluck our tongues at sadistic Byon Satdo in "Chun Hyang Song," hypocritical Nolbu in "The Gourds' Rewards," the vain hare in "Harelip," greedy Grandma Lopside in "The Song Bag" and miserly Ong Go-jip in "The Money Bug." Our hearts go out to faithful Chun Hyang, generous Hungbu, loyal Tortoise. It would be difficult to find a person anywhere in this world who does not appreciate a good laugh; the hare's "instant concentrated rabbit-liver tablets," the goblins' solution for Grandma Lopside's greed, and Nolbu's ingenious methods for tormenting his younger brother register as favorably with Westerners as they do with Koreans.
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