Questions tagged [korean-literature]

Questions about works of literature that were originally written in the Korean language, regardless of whether they were written or published in Korea or elsewhere.

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1answer
55 views

Where is “Keumgang-Gul / Diamond Cave”?

This short poem by Ko Un is entitled, in its English translation by Sunny Jung, "Keumgang-Gul / Diamond Cave". I'm assuming that Keumgang-Gul is the original Korean title and it translates ...
2
votes
0answers
20 views

Ko Un's “Around Unmun Temple at Ch'Eongdo”

Ko Un's poem "Around Unmun Temple at Ch'Eongdo" can be read, in its English translation by Sunny Jung (and Hillel Schwartz?), at the Poetry Foundation website. There's a lot to unpack in ...
3
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0answers
20 views

Is there any significance to the lemons and the port in Ko Un's “Asking the Way”?

"Asking the Way" is a short poem by Ko Un, addressing "You fools who ask what god is" and telling them to ask about life instead, illustrating the principle with examples about ...
4
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0answers
50 views

Why does isolating “there” on its own line sound less emphatic in Korean than English?

I was reading Translator’s Note: Three Poems by Ko Un from the Poetry Foundation and came across this excerpt: We translated “명사도 동사도 다” (“all nouns and verbs”) as “all words,” which sounds less ...
4
votes
2answers
322 views

What's the connection between millennia of time travel and waiting for a bus?

One of Ko Un's very short poems, translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé and available on the Brief Poems blog, goes as follows: Some say they can recall a thousand years Some say they have already ...
2
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0answers
48 views

In Ko Un's short poem “In the very middle of the road”, why does the narrator take a different path?

There's a short poem by Ko Un that, when translated, goes like this: In the very middle of the road two dogs are coupling I take another route (source; translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé) Why ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Tale of a Dog Chasing the Sun/Trying to Find Its Owner?

So during the Korean Folktale Topic Challenge, I was actually searching for a specific story that I thought was associated with a mythical beast called "Haetchi" or a "Haetae". It'...
3
votes
0answers
152 views

In “The Magpie and the Bell”, how can the snake transform into a dragon?

I just read the Korean folk tale "The Magpie and the Bell" (I don't know whose translation this is), in which a huge snake claims to be able to transform into a dragon and rise to heaven: &...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

What religion is suggested by the “God” in the Korean sun/moon origin story?

In the Korean folk story 해와 달이 된 오누이, translated here as "The Origin of the Sun and the Moon" from Pyun Yung-tai, Tales from Korea (Seoul, 1948), two children are pursued by a tiger and end ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Are the sun and moon generally personified in Korean folklore, or just in this origin story?

There's a Korean folk story entitled 해와 달이 된 오누이, variously translated as "The Origin of the Sun and the Moon" or "Sister Sun and Brother Moon" etc. I read it here, cited to Pyun ...
32
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3answers
15k views

Why do many Korean folk tales start with “back when tigers smoked”?

I've read in a few sources that the Korean equivalent of the "once upon a time ..." which often begins English folk stories is something like "back when tigers smoked ..." or "...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the original Korean title of “The Tiger and the Persimmon”?

This short Korean folk story has been variously translated into English: The Tiger and the Persimmon Tiger and Dried Persimmon The Tiger and the Dried Persimmons The Tiger and the Dried Persimmon I ...