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A Study of Hypertexts of «Kuunmong» 九雲夢, Focusing on «Kuullu» 九雲樓 / «Kuun’gi» 九雲記

Nine Clouds in Motion


Dennis Wuerthner

This case study deals with late Chosŏn dynasty works of narrative fiction modelled after Kuunmong (A Dream of Nine Clouds) by Kim Manjung (1637–1692). The focus lies on a novel extant in two manuscripts: Sinjŭng Kuullu (Revised augmented edition of the Nine Cloud Tower) and Sinjŭng chaeja Kuun’gi (Revised augmented caizi edition of the Story of Nine Clouds), short Kuullu/Kuun’gi. While this study specifically discusses late premodern hypertexts of Kuunmong, it is also concerned with a set of broader questions regarding the diffusion, circulation, reception, and creative transformation of literary products of different languages on the eve of modernity in Sino-centric East Asia.

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2. Kuunmong and its hypertexts in late Chosŏn dynasty Korea

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2.   Kuunmong and its hypertexts in late Chosŏn dynasty Korea

As extant sources suggest, in late Chosŏn Korea KUM was known to people of different social statuses. Taking the generally minor degree of literary-historical relevance of fictional works in premodern Korea into account, it should not come as a surprise that from a span of about two-hundred years, that is, from the time of the creation of KUM until the dawn of the modern age, there are only roughly a dozen sources that mention Kim Manjung’s work. One of them is a passage from the authoritative Sŭngjŏngwŏn ilgi 承政院日記 (Daily Records of the Royal Secretariat) which reveals that King Yŏngjo 英祖 (r. 1724–1776) knew KUM: “The King asked: ‘Who created Kuunmong?’ [Cho] Myŏngni 趙明履 [1697–1756] answered: ‘It was Kim Manjung who created it.’”91 Sin Man 申晩 (1703–1765) subsequently informs King Yŏngjo that Kim Ch’unt’aek had said that Kim Manjung had written the work for his grieving, ailing mother.92 In line with this, it appears as if during the late Chosŏn dynasty KUM was primarily known for the purported circumstances of its creation, which so much complied with Confucian doctrine and the notion of filial piety: when in exile, Kim Manjung allegedly wrote the work to comfort his mother in a single night.93 The emphasis placed on the background of its creation also reflects in a ← 39 | 40 → passage from King Chŏngjo’s 正祖 (r. 1777–1800) Iltŭngnok 日得錄 (Records of Daily Reflections): “A long time ago, Kim Manjung created Kuunmong in a single night in order to present it to his mother. How much more does this apply to me, for my intention to revere my parents exists herein.”94 The fact that King Chŏngjo, who throughout his reign was eager to reestablish the name and honor of his father Prince Sado (who had been forced to commit suicide due to his erratic nature), here stresses his own fidelity and piety by means of a reference to KUM shows that the work and its background of creation must have been part of general knowledge in higher circles. Moreover, the work was well-known by scholars, as is revealed through the poem Che Kuunmong-hu 題九雲夢後 (Written at the End of Kuunmong) by Yi Yango 李養吾 (1737–1811; pen name Pan’gye 磻溪), where one can find clear cut references to some of the novel’s acting characters such as Chin Ch’aebong 秦彩鳳,95 Kye Sŏmwŏl 桂蟾月,96 or Chŏng Kyŏngp’ae 鄭瓊貝97.98 Similarly, in the p’ansori Ch’unhyang ka 春香歌 (Song of Ch’unhyang) as recorded by Sin Chaehyo 申在孝 (1812–1884), the figures Chin Ch’aebong and Kye Sŏmwŏl from KUM are casually mentioned in a description of Ch’unhyang’s house:

When he [Bachelor Yi] arrived in front of her door, he was not far away from the city, but how beautiful were the colors of the mountain forests! Behind her house were dark green mountains, in front of her door an emerald stream. The willows by the bank of the creek, were they those from Chin Ch’aebong’s grove? The cherry-tree blossoms covering the stone wall, were they those from the place where Kye Sŏmwŏl used to live?99 ← 40 | 41 →

Furthermore, a source by the official Yi Chae 李縡 (1680–1746), contained in his collection of miscellaneous records Samgwan’gi 三官記 (Three Organ Records), is also noteworthy:

Among the p’ae[gwan] [so]sŏl100 there is Kuunmong, that is, a work created by Sŏp’o [Kim Manjung]. The general meaning [of this novel] is that wealth and fame are no more but a springtime dream, and with this [work] he looked to ease his mother’s worries and anxious thoughts. This book is very much in vogue among the boudoirs, and when I was a child I also got used to hearing its tale.101

On the one hand, Yi Chae states that KUM was popular amongst a female readership in the early eighteenth century (possibly in its vernacular Korean version).102 On the other hand, he also implies that he was either read the book or told its story in his youth, which would mean the late 1680s or early 1690s, i.e. a time shortly after the work’s creation. Another source dealing with the circulation and popularity of KUM is the following by Cho Chaesam 趙在三 (1801–1834), who wrote: “It has been transmitted that Kim Pukhŏn [Ch’unt’aek] brought forth novels such as Kuunmong, [Sa-ssi] nam[jŏng]gi and the like. Palace maids have come to recite them and read them aloud morning and evening.”103 Furthermore, there is a source mentioning KUM and its main protagonist Yang Soyu, written by Pak Saho 朴思浩 (dates unknown) who travelled as an envoy to Beijing in 1828. Regarding the appearance of several gentlewomen on their way to the imperial Qing palace, Pak Saho stated the following to another envoy by the name of Pak Chaegoeng 朴載宏 (dates unknown):

They [the court women] passed us suddenly and there was not one who was not extraordinarily beautiful. Some of them took coins which they threw and scattered out onto the bridge. The lot of coachmen ran forth to pick them up, and then they were gone. I did not know what the meaning of this was. I laughed and said to Ullu [Pak Chaegoeng]: ← 41 | 42 → “This is even better than when Yang Soyu met the immortals on the stone bridge. Why don’t you grab some of those coins with which [the court women] bought the road?”104

The sight of the beautiful palace women immediately reminded Pak Saho of the scene in KUM in which the eight fairies block a stone bridge and make the monk Sŏngjin pay a toll, i.e. the scene that marks the outset of the characters’ amorous relationship. This shows, firstly, that a member of the upper class knew the work well enough to quickly refer to it,105 while, secondly, it suggests that it was primarily the KUM’s amorous passages which people knew by heart even in the middle of the nineteenth century.106

This, in turn, can be substantiated by a short consideration of novels and art. In printed editions of Chinese novels and dramas such as Shuihu zhuan or Xixiangji, saphwa 揷畫, “inserted illustrations”, i.e. illustrations showing important scenes from the respective works, were a common feature. In contrast, printed editions of Korean narrative literature, such as the woodblock-prints of KUM produced in the nineteenth century, usually did not contain any illustrations at all. In Chosŏn Korea, books including pictures were mainly of Buddhist or Confucian nature, and in a Confucian context especially the works from the genre of haengsildo 行實圖, “illustrated guides”, such as the Samgang haengsildo 三綱行實圖 (Illustrated Guide to the Three Bonds) or the Oryun haengsildo 五倫行實圖 (Illustrated Guide to the Five Cardinal Relationships) have to be mentioned. This is not to say, however, that there are no late premodern/early modern Korean paintings and illustrations depicting scenes and characters from works of narrative fiction. Only few are extant, but, in fact, KUM served as the basis for the majority of them, and there exist a number of paintings generally known today as Kuunmong to 九雲夢圖 (Paintings of Kuunmong). Many of the extant Kuunmong to are eight- or ten panel folding screens,107 but we find references to ← 42 | 43 → scrolls depicting specific scenes from KUM in a source from the mid-nineteenth century, the Hanyang ka 漢陽歌 (Song of Hanyang, 1844), in which it is stated that a vertical scroll showing a scene from KUM, namely Sŏngjin’s encounter with the eight fairies on the stone bridge, was sold in an art shop located beneath Kwangt’ong Bridge in the capital.108 This, in turn, indicates that such paintings were circulating and in demand.109 The majority of the extant Kuunmong to depict love-scenes involving Yang Soyu and his women, and with this in mind, the theory that the novel was by a general readership perceived as a romance and not primarily as a philosophical or religious work that debates the vacuity of human pursuit can be substantiated.

Interestingly, the first edition of James Scarth Gale’s translation of KUM likewise contains altogether sixteen woodblock-print illustrations (p’anhwa 版畫) of different KUM episodes (the first of which can be seen to the right110). The composition of these illustrations in Gale’s work is very different from the often colored paintings of KUM on the extant folding-screens, as they are created in the style of the saphwa generally contained in Chinese editions of major Chinese works of narrative ← 43 | 44 → fiction.111 However, no extant Korean edition of KUM (neither hanmun nor vernacular Korean) features the illustrations contained in Gale’s translation, and their origin and source still remains unclear to this day.112


Overall, the content of KUM as well as the background of its creation were generally known in late premodern times, and KUM was a piece of the literary canon of late Chosŏn dynasty Korea. Yet in which editions was KUM received, and was it read primarily in vernacular Korean or Literary Chinese? When discussing the novel, it is indisputably complicated to speak of the KUM, conveying the impression that there was a single, somehow “authorized” original version of the work. In fact, generations of scholars in the field of Korean Studies have conducted research on the different versions and the language of its original creation, and although studies by historians of Korean literature such as Chŏng Kyubok or Daniel Bouchez can be considered milestones in the field,113 the issue of the original version of KUM is still highly debated. In his thesis, Myoungin Yu has worked extensively on editions of KUM and he has shown that both hanmun and han’gŭl versions of KUM were produced in different forms – woodblock- prints, editions printed with moveable type (Korean: hwalchabon 活字本), ← 44 | 45 → and handwritten manuscripts (Korean: p’ilsabon 筆寫本)114 – and published at a number of different places: Kyŏngsŏng 京城 (Seoul), Naju 羅州, Chŏnju 全州 and Ansŏng 安城.115 The printed editions are usually labeled according to the respective places where they were published: wanp’an 完板 editions from Chŏnju (due to the fact that Chŏnju used to be called Wanju 完州 or Wansan 完山), kyŏngp’an 京板 editions from Kyŏngsŏng, ansŏngp’an 安城板 editions from Ansŏng, and kŭmsŏngp’an 錦城板 from Naju (deriving from the ancient name of Naju). The following chart offers information of the transmitted Literary Chinese and vernacular Korean editions of KUM:

Wood Na10
Wood Ch7911
Wood Se17
Wood An
Wood Unkn83
Moveable 815

Category: Hand = handwritten; Wood = woodblock print; Moveable = print with moveable type (early 20th century); Mimeo = Mimeograph

Place of printing: Na = Naju; Ch = Chŏnju; Se = Seoul; An = Ansŏng; Unkn = unknown, in most cases not datable

An important factor in the categorization of the different editions in the field of text-critical research is the existence or non-existence of the final scene of KUM, i.e. the second part of the frame-narrative in which Sŏngjin is woken from his dream of being the successful but mortal Yang Soyu. Hanmun-editions which contain this final scene are grouped as the N-Type, short for nojonbon kyeyŏl ← 45 | 46 → 老尊本系列, the Nojonbon edition-line.116 All of the editions of the N-Type are handwritten (though not all listed under “Hand” in the table above belong to this N-Type). Chŏng Kyubok lists nine editions for the N-Type, many from the early nineteenth century. A non-extant edition from this N-Type served as the basis for the Ŭ-Type, the ŭlsabon kyeyŏl 乙巳本系列-editions, which are mostly woodblock-print editions, the oldest one of which can be dated 1725. This 1725 edition of KUM is the oldest known example of a commercially printed sosŏl.117 In the Ŭ-Type, which were printed in Naju, the final scene is still “intact”, though overall these editions are shorter (especially with respect to the initial scene) and plainer in style in comparison to the N-Type. Except for the N-Type and the Ŭ-Type, all other types are “corrupted”. These corrupted versions primarily belong to the K-Type, the kyehaebon kyeyŏl 癸亥本系列. A woodblock-edition from the Ŭ-Type served as the model for Kyehaebon, the oldest edition of which can be dated 1803. In the early stage, Kyehaebon can be regarded as a newly carved Ŭ-Type, yet the K-Type reveals more errors and omissions in the important awakening-scene. The novel’s final scene was increasingly abbreviated and cut in later K-Type editions, and overall the novel was altered to comply with the tastes of a larger readership, as the K-Type came to serve for the model of the mass-produced panggakp’an 坊刻版 (also called panggakbon), i.e. the commercially produced woodblock-prints which were meant to suit the tastes of many. In the course of this development, the novel’s fantastic, amorous elements were enhanced and filigreed while the novel’s philosophical, religious core was increasingly wiped out.118 As Boudewijn Walraven notes, “panggakp’an certainly did not provide a qualitative improvement if content is considered; if anything, the contrast was the case. Nineteenth-century commercial editions of Kuunmong, for instance, distorted the careful structure of the novel its author Kim Man-chung had devised.”119 Due to the large-scale production and circulation of these commercially printed editions in the second half of the nineteenth century, most of the nowadays extant editions of KUM belong to the K-Type (in the table above, all 79 woodblock-prints from Chŏnju as well as the majority of ← 46 | 47 → handwritten manuscripts). Kyehaebon thus circulated on the largest scale, had the vastest readership and served as a model for KUM editions even up to the early twentieth century (one example being Sinbŏn Kuunmong 新飜九雲夢 (A New Translation of Kuunmong).120 In the framework of the study at hand, it is important to note that the KUM-hypertext Kuullu/Kuun’gi does contain the final awakening scene (though it is slightly altered and extended). Since (as will be shown below) Kuullu/Kuun’gi cannot have been created prior to the 1830s, it is highly likely that an early Kyehaebon edition, one from the first three decades of the nineteenth century in which the awakening scene was still intact, served as the foundation for the novel.121

In his thesis, Myoungin Yu has demonstrated that more than 60% of the known premodern editions of KUM were hanmun-editions (175 hanmun editions vs. 117 han’gŭl editions). Moreover, with respect to the panggakbon editions, which were in high demand, the number of hanmun-editions of KUM was three times higher than that of its han’gŭl editions. In addition, hanmun editions of KUM were being produced in much larger quantities than those of comparably well-liked works of fiction such as Sa-ssi namjŏnggi, Ch’unhyang chŏn, or Hong Kiltong chŏn.122 These are clear indications that KUM was especially popular and most widely read in Literary Chinese, not so much in vernacular Korean. This, in turn, leads to the assertion that KUM predominantly circulated in higher social strata, and that it was primarily purchased and borrowed by those whose educational background permitted them to read their books in hanmun. Myoungin Yu notes that, although vernacular Korean editions of KUM certainly did exist, they were obviously not well or widely received. He convincingly shows that the majority of contemporary readers in late Chosŏn dynasty Korea obviously sought to enjoy the work’s decidedly Sinitic, transcultural nature – its Chinese style, language and content. ← 47 | 48 →

This, in turn, also reflects in the hypertexts of KUM which circulated in nineteenth century Chosŏn Korea, for even in the case of those novels which are extant in both hanmun and han’gŭl versions, the han’gŭl editions usually constituted the vernacular Korean translation of a priorly published hanmun edition: this is the case with such KUM-hypertexts as Ongninmong, Illakchŏng ki 一樂亭記 (Account of Illak Pavilion), Oksugi 玉樹記 (Records of a Jade Tree; vernacular Korean translation from 1888), Ongnyŏnmong, or Ongnumong. There are very few KUM-hypertexts solely extant in han’gŭl (exceptions comprise two works which will be discussed further below).

Printed editions of KUM were produced in substantial numbers in centers of commercial publishing such as Naju, Chŏnju, Seoul, or Ansŏng, and this suggests the novel was one of the most popular, commercially most successful Korean novels in late Chosŏn dynasty Korea. It belonged to a canon of literature, though (as is substantiated by the quoted premodern and early modern sources) it was in all probability not considered an authoritative piece “set in stone”, but rather a work which could very well be transformed, which could serve as the starting point for new works of fiction.

2.1   Late Chosŏn dynasty re-invented hypertexts of Kuunmong

There are no extant records showing that works such as Ongnumong, Ongninmong, Ongnyŏnmong, Oksugi etc. were viewed as a coherent genre in premodern times. Yet considering the different works’ similar sounding titles, one can assume that these were not applied arbitrarily, but fixed with the specific aim of marking the works as belonging to a group of literary works based on KUM (the titles of the manuscripts Kuullu and Kuun’gi are, of course, even closer to Kuunmong). Gérard Genette writes:

We all know that the titles of literary or other works do not form an amorphous, arbitrary, timeless, or insignificant category of utterances. The vast majority of them – and the same goes for character names – are subject to at least two fundamental determinations: genre and period. […] Titles, like the names of animals, become an index: part pedigree, part birth certificate.123

These nineteenth century Chosŏn Korean KUM-hypertexts, which can thus be understood as belonging to a genre,124 were, in modern times, first identified as a ← 48 | 49 → group of texts encircling the core-narrative KUM by Kim T’aejun, who in Chosŏn sosŏlsa used the term mong-cha-ryu, by which he meant “a group [of narrative texts] including the character mong 夢 [dream] as pŏnan 飜案 [Chinese: fan’an, i.e. parodies or hypertexts]125 of Kuunmong”.126 As was shown above, Kim T’aejun here discusses some KUM-hypertexts while paying special attention to Ongnumong. Yet in addition to Ongninmong, Ongnyŏnmong and Ongnumong, which were mentioned and, due to their Chinese nature, downgraded in the aforementioned passage from Chosŏn sosŏlsa, Kim T’aejun discussed other KUM-hypertexts as well:

With regards to the following I speak for myself and have not conferred with anyone on this, but the narrative content of Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn Im Hoŭn chŏn is very similar to that of Kuunmong. The story is set during the Sung dynasty; it takes Im Hoŭn from Suzhou as its protagonist and lets him establish relationships in the mundane world with six women who surround him. He assembles them in one house, exhausts earthly fame and fortune to the utmost, and then takes the clouds to return to Heaven. Set against Kuunmong [The Dream of Nine Clouds], it would [in the case of Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn] be perhaps adequate to speak of Ch’irunmong [The Dream of Seven Clouds]. However, in comparison to Kuunmong, [Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn] is rather short, it is not a novel segmented in chapters, the interwoven ideology is not as subtle and elaborate, and even its title, i.e. The Biography of this and that Person, is a very primitive one. Thus, I wonder whether it might perhaps not have served as a chief source [or hypotext; Korean: nambon 藍本, Chinese: lanben] for Kuunmong. One cannot know whether Im Hoŭn chŏn might not perhaps also be a work written by Sŏp’o [Kim Manjung]. Hereafter, the work which has the closest relationship with Kuunmong is Chang Kukchin chŏn.127 […] Firstly, the girl Kyehyang’s maidservant Ch’oun and Lady Chŏng [Kyŏngp’ae]’s maidservant [Ka] Ch’unun have the same names and character traits.128 Secondly, Chang Kukchin dresses up as a woman, enters the house of Lady Yi and plays the tune Feng qiu huang [The Phoenix Seeks its ← 49 | 50 → Mate], which is the same method by which Yang Soyu lures Lady Chŏng. […] Thirdly, the overall flow of narration is very similar. Though the title of Chang Kukchin chŏn appears to have changed several times, it seems as if the text is quite old, and it makes me wonder whether Im Hoŭn chŏn and Chang Kukchin chŏn were not taken as sources and turned into Kuunmong.129

The current standard reference historiography of Korean literature Han’guk munhak t’ongsa by Cho Tongil also points to the vernacular Korean hypertexts Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn 謫降七仙 (The Banishment of the Seven Immortals; also known under the subtitle Im Hoŭn chŏn 林虎隱傳 (Biography of Im Hoŭn))130 or Chang Kukchin chŏn (Biography of Chang Kukchin).131 Apparently inspired by Chosŏn sosŏlsa, Cho Tongil writes the following concerning the two vernacular Korean hypertexts of KUM: ← 50 | 51 →

Im Hoŭn chŏn can be taken as an example for a reduced-size edition [of a KUM-hypertext]. Regarding the processes during which the protagonist has to establish fated relationships with six wives, has to earn his merits as a general, or has to ascend to a high and prestigious rank, [Im Hoŭn chon] resembles [Kuunmong] to an extent that one could even believe it to be the hypotext of Kuunmong, although it is probably reasonable to regard the before-after relation as reversed. In the case of Chang Kukchin chŏn it is also obvious that the work was modeled after Kuunmong. Several points serve to prove this: in the course of establishing relationships the protagonist dresses as a woman to obtain a glimpse at his future wife, and the maidservant’s name (Ch’unun) is the same. [Nevertheless,] there is newly introduced subplot: when the husband [Chang Kukchin] is on the battlefield, the wife secretly helps him and rescues him by means of Daoist techniques.132

Cho Tongil also lists a number of other works as definite hypertexts of KUM, for instance Oksŏnmong 玉仙夢 (The Dream of a Jade Immortal), Oksugi by Sim Nŭngsuk 沈能淑 (1782–1840), or the focal text of this study, Kuun’gi (the manuscript Kuullu had not yet been discovered when Han’guk munhak t’ongsa was published). Although this does not apply to the majority of these hypertexts, at least in the cases of Kuullu/Kuun’gi as well as Hoehŏn Yi Chŏngjak’s Ongninmong there exist sources claiming that the novels were inspired by their respective creators’ reading of KUM. With regards to Ongninmong, a source says: “When Hoehŏn had some time of leisure, he looked at books such as Kuunmong, [Sa-ssi] namjŏnggi and other writings by Pukhŏn Kim Ch’unt’aek, and eventually then created Ongninmong in fifteen volumes. This literature is very strange and mysterious.”133

The extents to and modes in which the given textual material from KUM is transformed in some of the nineteenth century prose works labeled “KUM-hypertexts” vary significantly, and thus one has to take the massiveness or explicitness of hypertextuality in the different works into account. In the following, texts in which “the shift from hypotext to hypertext is both massive […] and more or less officially stated”134 will be of concern. Although novels such as Ongnumong, ← 51 | 52 → Oksŏnmong and the like have come to be considered hypertextual transformations of KUM in the modern age, the question as to how one can actually determine their specific hypertextual connections to KUM is of importance. There need to be intertextual reference points, features, such as episodes and scenes, unique to the hypotext KUM which are clearly referred to, taken up, imitated or remodeled in the novels in order for them to become what one can classify KUM-hypertexts. The texts in question need to share more textual similarities with KUM than just the basic narrative elements of the general hero- or dream-journey tale, which are – in a broad sense – a frame-narrative inside of which the dream functions as a didactic tool to awaken the hero to the illusionary nature of secular life or the vacuity of human pursuit and lead him towards an awakening that is, at times, of a Buddhist nature.135 Narrower definitions of mong-cha-ryu-novels offered in the Korean scholarship also tend to lack a certain concreteness with respect to the actual texts in question.136

A closer comparison is meant to a shed light onto the question as to which KUM material was taken over, and what was actually transformed in some exemplary KUM-hypertexts. It is necessary to work out the methods and techniques of hypertextual transformation in nineteenth century Chosŏn Korean hypertexts of KUM such as Ongnumong, Chang Kukchin chŏn, Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn or Oksŏnmong, in which the given KUM-material is basically “re-invented”, and to compare them with those applied in the primary object of study, Kuullu/Kuun’gi. “Re-invented” here refers to the way in which KUM-material is transformed in the respective hypertexts. In a “re-invented” hypertext, the author alludes to prior works, he might mock, criticize, or pay tribute to a work, and this parodic fiction takes events, people, or themes from a previous work, and reinterprets them.137 In such hypertexts the authors negotiate between emulation and innovation, yet ultimately such “re-invented” hypertexts essentially constitute new, innovative narratives on the basis of the antecedent – this kind of hypertextuality has always ← 52 | 53 → been commonplace in literature, as new pieces of writing always develop in relation to preexisting styles and texts.

On the other hand, in Kuullu/Kuun’gi one finds elaborate, complicated constructions of direct textual borrowings from primary and secondary hypotexts, in which everything – from characters and settings to plots – is directly inserted and utilized. In the light of this, Kuullu/Kuun’gi might be labelled a “bricolage-hypertext”, and the creator(s) of the novel could accordingly be called bricoleur(s), for according to Claude Lévi-Strauss, who introduced the terms,

the constructor of a bricolage, the bricoleur, is someone who uses “the means at hand”, that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trail and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and origin are heterogeneous.138

The terms bricolage and bricoleur fit well into a specific Kuullu/Kuun’gi context, for the creator(s) likewise utilized texts which were “at hand” and at direct disposal, and the textual borrowings, i.e. the resources, which are diverse in origin, were often inserted in a changed, rearranged fashion.

Earlier, Julia Kristeva’s image of a text as a “mosaic of quotations” was mentioned. This phrase – although in this case perhaps better transformed into “mosaic of textual borrowings” – can also be applied to Kuullu/Kuun’gi. Generally speaking, in a well-made mosaic, the pieces, the thoroughly thought-through way in which they are arranged and laid out, and the final overall image must all work together. Each individual piece retains its individual identity, yet, when seen from afar, they blend together to form a larger, harmonious image.139 In a sense, Kuullu/Kuun’gi can, on a literary level, be viewed as such a mosaic in which the individual fragments and pieces that form a consistent, harmonious entirety, consist of textual material from KUM, passages which appear to be the product of “creative writing”,140 as well as hypertextual reconfigurations and meticulously selected, intricately arranged textual borrowings from a large array of secondary hypotexts. Hence, due to its structure, Kuullu/Kuun’gi can also be labelled a “mosaic-hypertext”. ← 53 | 54 →

In consequence, one first needs to discuss regular, “re-invented” hypertexts such as Ongnumong, Chang Kukchin chŏn, Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn and Oksŏnmong, in order to then carve out the extraordinary hypertextual techniques and features of the “bricolage-hypertext” or “mosaic-hypertext” Kuullu/Kuun’gi. Also, Kuullu/Kuun’gi necessarily has to be explored in due consideration of other works from the group of KUM-hypertexts, because an anticipated Chosŏn Korean readership of Kuullu/Kuun’gi will in all probability not have read the novel as an independent, detached work of fiction, but rather in relation to the evidentially well-known hypotext, as well as to other KUM-hypertexts.

2.2   Ongnumong, Chang Kukchin chŏn and Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn

The nowadays prominent KUM-hypertext Ongnumong shows dialogical connections with KUM, but as was already noted in the scholarship, the work’s level of hypertextuality with KUM is not particularly high.141 Still, the work was already mentioned by Kim T’aejun as being similar to KUM,142 and upon closer inspection one can discover hypertextual transformations of specific KUM material in Ongnumong. For instance, the manner in which the male protagonist Yang Ch’anggok 楊昌曲 encounters the female character Kang Namhong 江南紅 constitutes an unmistakable hypotextual reconfiguration of the scene from KUM in which Yang Soyu encounters the courtesan Kye Sŏmwŏl during a poetry competition in Luoyang and wins her heart by means of his verses. In Ongnumong the scene reads:

At the time, all of the literati from Su[zhou] and Hang[zhou] crowded the river pavilion. Orderly and neat were their attire and hat-wear. They selected paper and brush and sat divided to the east and to the west. There were about a hundred courtesans […] who were lined up to the left and to the right […] Master Yang let his eyes, which were as clear as the waters of autumn, wander to have a look at each one of them. Among them ← 54 | 55 → there was one courtesan who neither spoke nor laughed, but rather sat in silence. […] The master thought to himself: ‘I know about the beauty which makes castles and countries crumble from ancient books. Now that I see this person, she necessarily cannot be an ordinary woman, but certainly has to be the one whom the boy [I met earlier] called Kang Namhong.’ He followed the literati and sat down on the last seat. At that time, Kang Namhong, from the place where she was sitting, let her eyes, which were like the waves of autumn, wander to take a look around at all of the literati who were sitting in their seats […] There was not a single one who was not insignificant and witless. But then there was a gifted looking scholar in the very last place. He wore shabby clothes, but he had a clear appearance and although he looked like a very poor scholar […] he seemed like the spiritual dragon of a vast ocean taking the wind and the clouds. […] All of the literati from Su[zhou] and Hang[zhou] individually brought forth the will to win [the poetry competition], and busily they pulled out their brushes to show off their lyrical talents […] Lady Hong had already looked at several dozens of the poems by the literati from Su[zhou] and Hang[zhou]. All of them had been banal ramblings and none had stood out. […] She picked up and looked at what master Yang had thrown on paper […] and it was like moonshine in a lake or like flowers in a mirror. […] Lady Hong looked at it for a long time, but then she loosened her darkish brows, half opened her deep red lips, pulled a golden phoenix needle from her hair and used it to hit on a wine bottle and sang [his poem] in a clear voice.143

Nevertheless, such obvious hypotextuality is rather an exception, as the overall degree of hypertextuality in Ongnumong is comparatively low.

As could be seen in the previous subchapter, Cho Tongil mentions Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn in the same breath as Chang Kukchin chŏn, conveying the impression that the two vernacular Korean novels closely resemble one another. In truth, the two pieces of fiction pose almost exact opposites, especially with respect to their degree of KUM-hypertextuality. Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn and Chang Kukchin chŏn can serve as examples to illustrate how complicated a determination of the specific characteristics of a KUM-hypertext actually is. Although the tale also lacks the final resolution of the main characters’ lives having constituted a mere ← 55 | 56 → dream,144 Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn nevertheless shows a high degree of hypertextuality with KUM, in fact to an extent that Kim T’aejun playfully labeled it Ch’irunmong 七雲夢, the Cloud Dream of the Seven (in Gale’s words) or The Dream of Seven Clouds (in Rutt’s words). Moreover, Kim T’aejun even wondered whether it had perhaps also been penned by Kim Manjung and whether it might have served as a hypotext for KUM itself. On the other hand, Chang Kukchin chŏn has to be regarded as a piece of fiction with a considerably low degree of KUM-hypertextuality, as it predominantly contains a hypertextual reconfiguration of the KUM’s hero-narrative, that is, the (abbreviated) description of the protagonist’s quest to establish relationships in accordance with the etiquette, his rise through the civil ranks, as well as his (vastly extended) brave and heroic actions as a military leader. Contrary to the main protagonist from KUM Yang Soyu, Chang Kukchin’s glorious adventures in the mundane world are likewise not exposed as void and meaningless, because they are also not placed within an enclosing frame-narrative that marks the core-narrative as a dream. Nonetheless, at specific points of narration, Chang Kukchin chŏn does reveal a heightened hypertextual correlation with KUM. For instance, after Chang Kukchin has been reunited with his long-lost parents, they hear about the gifted orphan girl Yi Kyeyang, daughter of the late head of military command, who is brought up by her wet-nurse Ch’unun, i.e. the aforementioned figure that has the same name as the personal maidservant of the character Chŏng Kyŏngp’ae from KUM. Upon hearing about her talents and beauty, Chang Kukchin’s mother would like her to marry her son, but Chang Kukchin proposes the following:

Kukchin said: “I will just go there and see if I would take Lady Kyeyang.” His mother said: “You, as a man, under what guise would you want to obtain a look at a woman in someone else’s boudoir?” Hereupon, Kukchin took off his mens’ clothes, adorned himself, dressed up in women’s clothes, and thus a manly hero transformed himself into a graceful female. The prime minister and his wife [Chang Kukchin’s parents] took a look and complimented him on his beautiful demeanor. Kukchin took a zither, went to the house of the girl Kyeyang and played a tune. Ch’unun heard the sound and took him inside. […] Kukchin was overjoyed, and thus he went straight into the inner hall where he sat down. There he took one look at the girl and realized that she was a peerless beauty. […] She took a closer look and saw […] that this was not a woman, but a man who looked ← 56 | 57 → like the greatest hero on earth. Startled, the girl rose to her feet, covered her face and quickly went outside.145

This scene constitutes an obvious hypertextual reconfiguration of the scene from KUM in which Yang Soyu disguises himself as a Daoist priestess in order to gain access to the mansion of Justice Chŏng, where he plays the zither to verify that Chŏng Kyŏngp’ae lives up to her reputation before entering into a marriage with her. Like Chŏng Kyŏngp’ae, Yi Kyeyang from Chang Kukchin chŏn also finds out about the visitor’s true sex.

However, the overall low extent of hypertextuality of Chang Kukchin chŏn with KUM derives from the fact that the narration predominantly circles around the protagonist’s military endeavors. Chang Kukchin only marries two women, the aforementioned Lady Yi as well as a certain Lady Yu, and there are no other female characters that play a role over the further course of the narration. The novel as a whole is constructed in a much simpler fashion than KUM, because it basically constitutes straightforward hero-fiction with a multitude of stylized battles and a large variety of military campaigns during which the hero has to either fight off numerous (hard to distinguish) invasions, initiated by foreign kings and their Daoist henchmen, or during which he ventures to invade these foreign lands himself in retaliation for the prior attempts of hostile takeover. Nevertheless, since Chang Kukchin chŏn reveals a certain degree of hypertextuality with KUM at some points of narration, and since the work was considered a KUM-hypertext already in the early standard reference work Chosŏn sosŏlsa, it is justifiable to consider Chang Kukchin chŏn a hypertext of KUM.

In comparison, in Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn the focus is not placed on the military endeavors of the hero Im Hoŭn, but rather on his quest to find and assemble the six women promised to him, as well as on his rise through the civil ranks. The better part of the novel shows the protagonist either stumbling from one amorous adventure into next, or succeeding as an imperial son-in-law and minister at court while searching for his long lost-parents. Only the final part of the book portrays the hero in wartime situations. The narrative depiction of the way in which he courts and wins several of the six banished immortal women is, in some cases, clearly based on the model set by KUM. For instance, after having won the favors of his first beloved, Lady Chang, by chasing evil spirits away from her home ← 57 | 58 → and burying her deceased parents, Im Hoŭn travels through the country and visits Yŏngŭn Monastery, where he catches a glimpse of the beautiful Yi Chŏngok, daughter of Counselor-in-Chief Yi Kiil, who is at the temple to present a petition to the Buddha. Im Hoŭn makes up his mind to win her heart and is aided in his endeavors by a monk of the temple named Pŏmnyul, who advises Im to dress like a woman and act as if he was a chambermaid by the name of Ch’aebong (i.e. the name of Yang Soyu’s first beloved, Chin Ch’aebong, in KUM). Pŏmnyul smuggles Ch’aebong into Yi’s house, whereupon the housemaid obtains Yi Chŏngok’s trust and eventually becomes her personal maidservant. One night, Chŏngok and Ch’aebong ascend a pavilion to recite under the moon, and the maidservant is asked to play the harp in front of the girl. Just as in KUM when Yang Soyu is unmasked by the choice of his tunes, Yi Chŏngok likewise finds out about her counterpart’s male identity. However, instead of hiding the betrayal (as Yang Soyu does in KUM), Im Hoŭn decides to come clean and confess his love to her. Since the girl Yi had previously obtained a visionary dream telling her that a man was about to enter into her life, she subsequently promises Im to become his future wife.146 Hereafter, while Im Hoŭn yet again travels the country, the hero stumbles upon a gathering of literati who have a verse-competition to win the heart of the courtesan Miae. The outset of this scene is a clear hypertextual reconfiguration of the KUM’s respective Kye Sŏmwŏl scene, but it takes a different turn, for the other literati do not play the roles of adversaries to the hero, but are rather portrayed as being quite fond of Im Hoŭn. The gathering is broken up by an obnoxious youngling who confronts Im and is eventually beaten and sent away by the hero. Im Hoŭn then goes to the house of Miae where he stays on for several months, making her his third wife.147 As can be seen in these examples, one does find obvious links with the hypotext KUM, but the material is not adopted as such, but re-invented in a creative, independent narrative fashion.

2.3   Oksŏnmong

A “re-invented” KUM-hypertext which shows close correlations with Kim Manjung’s work is the eleven chapter dream-journey novel Oksŏnmong by some obscure T’ang Ong 宕翁 or T’ang Am 宕菴,148 the only extant version of which is a ← 58 | 59 → two-volume manuscript.149 Oksŏnmong reveals manifold matches with its hypotext KUM on the one hand, but also a high degree of innovative transformation of the narrative feedstock offered by KUM on the other.

Oksŏnmong is a dream-journey tale about an impoverished Korean scholar by the name of Hŏ Kŏt’ong 許巨通,150 who in a dream spends a lifetime as a successful man in China, only to realize the vacuity of human pursuit after his return to the real Korean world. It is commonly simply labeled a hanmun-novel,151 and if one merely considered its contemporary version published in Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip 韓國漢文小說全集 (A Complete Collection of Korean Narrative fiction written in Literary Chinese), one could very well believe that it was. However, the actual manuscript clearly shows that it was consciously constructed as a multilayered work.152 For instance, in the text we can find different forms of idu 吏讀, “clerk’s readings”, both in pure Chinese and in Chinese/han’gŭl. The idu in Oksŏnmong has led some researchers to the conclusion that the author must have been a chungin (the “middle people”, meaning technical officials and hereditary clerks) or a government clerk who was familiar with the Korean way of breaking up administrative texts composed in Chinese.153 Clearly, the idu in the manuscript of Oksŏnmong was not inserted arbitrarily, as it fittingly appears in a long passage circling around a legal case when Chŏn Mongok 錢夢玉, the main figure of the work’s dream narrative, is first accused of murder and eventually of indecent conduct which lead to the suicide of one of the female characters. In the passage of a testimony given by the dead woman’s maidservant it reads for instance: ← 59 | 60 →

“I don’t know anything at all [followed by idu reading isălptŏni written in Chinese characters and han’gŭl 是白加尼 이더니], but yesterday, at the time of the first watch, Master Chŏn, who lives east of the wall of this house, hid himself and entered the tower, and the lady was not able to strongly refuse him [isălp 是白이]. Though I may not know important details, it seemed as if they had an appointment from a previous day. They constantly sang poems to one another [idaga 是如可 이다가], and hereafter, at the end, he asked her to go along with him [igŏnăl 是去乙이거], but the lady seriously refused him. […] Although Master [Chŏn] strongly requested it two or three times [isălpadu 是白良置이아두], the lady did not allow it till the very end [ida 是如이다].154

In the further course of this passage, one finds further idu appearing simultaneously in Chinese characters and han’gŭl (for instance hŏittu 爲有置 허잇두), but in a following passage there is also just idu written only with Chinese characters and without the pronunciation in han’ŭl (such as isălptŏni 是白加尼, iŭnjŭk 是乎則 (earlier also in combination with the han’gŭl reading 是乎則이은즉), or hăitkŏnăl 爲有去乙).155 This appears at the point of narration where it is determined that Chŏn did not murder the woman, but that she had killed herself. Chŏn is subsequently not sentenced to death but merely sentenced to be beaten and sent into exile for three years. In the final verdict, the judge’s words appear furnished with idu purely written with Chinese characters, not in the Chinese-han’gŭl combination. Idu, which was generally used by Korean government clerks in texts of an administrative nature, in Oksŏnmong presumably serves to underpin the legal, administrative atmosphere of the related content,156 and is most likely meant to supply the respective passages with a sense of realism in a Korean reading environment. The code was obviously switched to make the text comply with the reading habits of late Chosŏn dynasty readers used to working with official documents. The settings of the aforementioned scenes depicting a legal case is decidedly Chinese, and the time-frame is Ming dynasty China, but the text itself resembles an administrative document from late premodern Korea with distinctly Korean insertions and reading-aids.

At times, Chinese character variants in the manuscript are marked with the respective Korean pronunciation.157 Also, the author utilized koyu-hanja 固有漢字, ← 60 | 61 → Chinese characters coined in Korea, such as kot 廤 for “place” (the vernacular Korean kot 곳 is written next to the Chinese character),158 or sagwa 沙果 for “apple”159. Moreover, there are not only interlineary commentaries and glosses in hanmun, but also in vernacular Korean. These vernacular Korean glosses of Chinese terms resemble entries in such nineteenth century works as Mulmyŏnggo 物名考 (Thesaurus of Names of Things; composed in the 1820s),160 or the glossaries of vernacular Chinese fiction such as Sŏyugi ŏrok 西遊記語錄 (Glossary of Chinese Colloquialisms in Xiyouji, undated) or Suhojŏn ŏrok 水滸傳語錄 (Glossary of Chinese Colloquialisms in Shuihu zhuan,161 undated). Hence, in a way, the ŏrok, i.e. the glossaries of Chinese colloquialisms, are integrated into Oksŏnmong itself. These vernacular Korean glosses are especially visible at the beginning of the second volume in a scene where Chŏn Mongok is invited to a feast held by the prefect of the region where the hero has been sent into exile. At that point of narration, clothes, games and dishes are glossed in Korean, which shows that the vernacular Chinese vocabulary pertaining to everyday items or certain activities was obviously not thought to be widely known to an anticipated Korean readership. There are glosses for pieces of furniture such as t’akjă 탁 (“table”) for the characters t’aga 卓児; glosses for certain kinds of clothes, such as a hogun 帍裙 (Chinese: huqun), underneath of which the Korean ingju ch’ima 주치마 (“apron”) is written;162 and also for games such as ch’ŏbŭnja mihok 捷隐者迷惑 (Chinese: jieyinzhe mihuo), which is rendered sumbŏk kukchil 숨벅국질 (“hide and seek”) in the Korean gloss, or parha 抜河 (Chinese: bahe), for which the gloss reads chul tarhăigi 줄달기 (“tug-of-war”).163 ← 61 | 62 →

In addition, the entire initial scene of the second volume’s first chapter is of interest, because it shows the novel’s heightened degree of narrative intensity. In the broadest sense, narrative intensity refers to the length of an account, but also to the amount of detail and the “depth” of an account offered.164 A high degree of narrative intensity was common in vernacular Chinese fiction. The same applies, of course, for the use of baihua, which was a defining feature of Chinese narrative fiction. Although Oksŏnmong is by and large composed in Literary Chinese, there are passages in which the code is yet again switched and where vernacular Chinese appears: generally, in Oksŏnmong vernacular written Chinese is found in battle-related passages and dialogues, which were certainly meant to appear livelier and more realistic by means of the insertion of the more colloquial baihua. Vernacular Chinese expressions such as hengqi shuba 橫七竪八 (“complete disorder”, “at sixes and sevens”)165 can be found in Oksŏnmong, for example, in a passage at the end of the second chapter, when the protagonist has to flee from Lihua Village in the wake of an attack of armed bandits.166

The influences of Chinese literature on Oksŏnmong can also be detected on a content-level. For instance, the novel’s frame-narrative is designed in the fashion of Tang dynasty tales famous for using the dream as inducement and structural device, such as Shen Jiji’s 沈既濟 (740–803) Zhenzhong ji 枕中記 (Record within a Pillow) or Li Gongzuo’s 李公佐 (ca. 770–850) Nanke taishou zhuan 南柯太守傳 (The Prefect of the Southern Branch).167 At the end of Zhenzhong ji ← 62 | 63 → the protagonist comes to value the simple life which he despised before falling asleep, while in Nanke taishou zhuan the hero Chun Yufen 淳于棼 ultimately enters a Daoist monastery. After having woken from his dream, Hŏ Kŏt’ong also renounces the world and subsequently becomes a Buddhist monk. A reference to “Old Man Lü” (the Daoist priest in Zhengzhong ji who, while traveling on the road to Handan, meets Scholar Lu and shows him the emptiness of human pursuit by means of a dream)168 and Chun Yufen (the protagonist in Nanke taishou zhuan) in the final passage of Oksŏnmong shows that the author clearly utilized the two Tang tales as frame-narrative hypotexts. The entire final passage appears to have been influenced by the respective one from Li Gongzuo’s novella.169 Moreover, the frame-narrative of Oksŏnmong does not include any female characters, which complies with these Tang dynasty works and differs from KUM. Judging by extant sources, Zhenzhong ji, which is directly mentioned in Oksŏnmong, and Nanke taishou zhuan were popular enough in nineteenth century Chosŏn Korea for readers of Oksŏnmong to acknowledge their function as the hypotexts for the frame-narrative of Oksŏnmong.170 On the other hand, influences of vernacular Chinese fiction can likewise be found in Oksŏnmong. As a direct consequence of the abovementioned passage involving the bandits, the female character Lady Kye (Kye sojŏ 桂小姐; the figure who has the same surname as Kye Sŏmwŏl from KUM) comes to live with the mentioned rebels, who are said to be the rebels of Liaowa 蓼洼, the rebels of Duckweed Marsh (passage cited below). Duckweed Marsh is mentioned in Shuihu zhuan as the place where the shrines of Song Jiang 宋江 and the other famous rebels are located at. More­over, when in chapter nine the antagonistic figure Kuk Yongp’il 鞠龍弼 starts an ← 63 | 64 → uprising, the emperor sends the hero Chŏn Mongok to quell the rebellion (just as Yang Soyu is sent to subdue the rebellion of the Tibetans in KUM). At one point, eight fierce men volunteer to join Chŏn Mongok’s army. This passage is strongly influenced by Shuihu zhuan, especially the depiction of the eight new figures, whose strength and might are said to resemble certain animals such as the spider, the snake, or the egret. Kim Kyŏngmi notes that baihua expressions like popi 潑皮, “ruffian”, mianpi 面皮, “face”, or zhesi 這厮, “this damned guy”, as well as the fact that Shuihu zhuan material served as an obvious influence for the battle scenes in Oksŏnmong, can be regarded as an indication that the author must have been an avid reader of these kind of works of Chinese vernacular fiction.171 Yet it might also be that the author inserted these baihua expressions, as well as certain scenes, simply in order to please an intended readership, or perhaps potential purchasers of an eventual (though apparently never published) print version of the book, and to comply with standards of dreamer/hero-fiction in late nineteenth century Chosŏn Korea. However, it is important to point out that, although the above mentioned passage was most probably inspired by Shuihu zhuan, the author of Oksŏnmong still created an independent narrative from the hypotextual material. To underpin this point, the mighty figures which appear in this scene do not carry famous names like Song Jiang, Zhang Shun 張順 or An Daoquan 安道全 (i.e. names of characters from Shuihu zhuan), but rather newly created ones such as Feng Yuanluo 鴌元羅 or Tong Tumeng 佟突瞢. This should be kept in mind for a later discussion of the way in which textual material from Shuihu zhuan is dealt with in the novel Kuullu/Kuun’gi.172

Although pieces of Chinese fiction did serve as foundational works for Oksŏnmong, the novel primarily constitutes a hypertext of KUM. When discussing the hypertextual nature of Oksŏnmong vis-à-vis its primary hypotext KUM, it is reasonable to fix points of comparison and work along their guiding lines. General benchmarks in the following discussion of Oksŏnmong are to be the respective novels’ frame-narratives and initial main protagonists, as well as the preconditions for and circumstances of the figures’ entry into their dream worlds; the depiction of the female characters and the means of courtship applied by the respective male heroes; the unification of the civil and the martial within the respective heroes, as well as the portrayals of their conduct in battle; the eventual weariness of human pursuit and the awakening from their dream-journeys. A ← 64 | 65 → comparison of these points is to serve a better understanding of the intertextual connections between Oksŏnmong and KUM.

2.3.1   When Hŏ Kŏt’ong fell asleep in Blue Crane Grotto – The frame-narrative of Oksŏnmong

Both KUM and Oksŏnmong begin with descriptions of their respective frames’ initial settings, but while the frame-narrative of KUM is set in a spiritual realm inhabited by otherworldly figures, the waking-world frame of Oksŏnmong is (at first glance) set in the human world173 – more specifically, in Chosŏn Korea. Oksŏnmong begins as follows:

On the soil left of the ocean174 there is a “Little China”.175 Hibiscus is its flower, halibut its fish, ximu [“split wood”] its constellation. In the east one reaches Taeyŏng,176 in the south one reaches T’amna,177 in the west one reaches the River P’ae,178 and in the north one reaches Sŏsura179. It spans round over a few thousand miles and the area is considered a country in it. In its boundaries there are famous mountains named Kŭmgang, named Mani,180 named Hanna,181 and in China these mountains are called the “three spiritual mountains”. Since the beginning of time, manifold have been numinous and strange matters [in this land]: a spirit bear descended by a birch tree and Hwanin (it is Indra) gave birth to creation (Tan’gun was born herein);182 numinous magpies followed a casket,183 and Chach’ung (he was a shaman; it is the name of King Namhae of Silla) ← 65 | 66 → bestowed surnames; monk Mansŏk transformed in a sitting position and attained Buddhahood; the green bamboo girl changed and was born as a deer girl;184 and the wish for the rose that offered [the pleasures of] a fragrant curtain, was it true or was it not (the words of Sŏl Ch’ong)?185 That Kim Yusin communicated with a man in a stone-cave, it was ghostly;186 that Scholar Hwang in a dream became the master of dawn (appears in Chibong yusŏl187); that a stupid monk transformed and entered the land in a stone hole […] – every single one of these is a fantastic story, they can be classed as that what is in the mouths of the enthusiasts, and really it is not possible to give them definite credence. Generally, [Chosŏn Korea’s] natural landscape gives rise to sly, flurried, numinous and weird feelings. […] The main mountain range is called Paektusan, […] which scatters and brings forth a thousand children and ten-thousand grandchildren. […] In the south there is one range that winds towards the east and runs towards the south for several thousands of miles, and those high rising [mountains] are the Chiri Mountains […]

At the end of the reign of Emperor Jingtai [of Ming; r.1428–1457], in Manhang District there lived a man from an impoverished, fallen [yangban] family. His surname was Hŏ, his given name was Han,188 and Kŏt’ong189 was his courtesy name. He was open and upright, unrestrained, and his will was great. Early on he had said to himself: “A true man has been born in an insignificant country located in a corner of the world, and he cannot straighten out the stone-like qi which is stuck between his lungs and intestines, he’s just sad and pitiful. But if in my next life I was only allowed to be reborn in the wide country ← 66 | 67 → of China, roam around far and wide in its thirty-six commanderies, stand in the court of the Son of Heaven, […] hereafter I could die and there would be nothing I would regret!” One day, wearing his yellow hat and his straw-shoes, he ascended Mount Chiri [and arrived at] Ch’ŏnghak tong, Blue Crane Grotto. He came to a small temple, and there he took a rest. It was during the fourth month, the weather was pleasantly warm, the foggy scenery was otherworldly, the mists of [springtime] flowers [whirling through the air] tied the eyes, and so he leaned over and fell asleep in front of the statue of the Vajra-Buddha, underneath the incense-burner table. Suddenly, it felt as if his mind was hovering in a haze, he flew away, and then he entered China”190

The mystical sphere of the frame-narrative of KUM and the real-life Korean Peninsula setting in the frame-narratives of Oksŏnmong seem contrary at first glance, but upon closer inspection the author of Oksŏnmong did establish hypertextual ties with the KUM’s opening scene. For, instead of depicting the actual country Korea as such, the focus is laid upon various Korean foundation myths and legends. Chosŏn Korea is consequently portrayed as a land of wonders and numinous incidents. The emphasis put on the legendary serves to translocate Chosŏn Korea into the realm of the otherworldly, which in turn then complies with KUM, the frame-narrative setting of which is a heavenly Buddhist realm.

Looked upon Oksŏnmong by means of established definitions of dream-journey narratives,191 however, at least the frame-narrative of the novel can be said to ← 67 | 68 → comply with structural traditions of the typical mongyu rok.192 Concerning the male protagonist of the initial frame-narrative, KUM and Oksŏnmong deviate to a certain extent. Although Sŏngjin from KUM expresses dissatisfaction with the austere life as a Buddhist monk and actually thinks himself into the blissful life of an important and influential Confucian,193 his discontent is short-lived and it is merely one of several reasons which lead to his banishment from the heavenly realm. In comparison to KUM, Hŏ Kŏt’ong from Oksŏnmong appears to be modeled more in the tradition of the heroes featured in the mentioned Tang tales, because the figure of the dissatisfied, poor and (in his own mind) ill-fated worldly man is a feature found in works such as Zhenzhong ji or Nanke taishou zhuan.194 The specific Chosŏn Korean setting of Oksŏnmong is noteworthy in this framework. Doubtlessly, the beginning of the novel reflects a clear-cut awareness and recognition of Chosŏn Korea as an independent country with an independent history, distinct geographical characteristics and an autonomous mythology. Yet at first glance, the evaluation of Chosŏn Korea in the introductory paragraph appears to be not very favorable, for Korea is claimed to be insignificant in comparison to China, a country which brings forth such discontent scholars as Hŏ Kŏt’ong. Yet when regarded in relation to the course of the story, this seemingly negative depiction of Korea at the beginning is vital, because it serves as the main reason for the protagonist’s dissatisfaction. His wish to be reborn in China, the cultural center of East Asia, stems from his impression that Korea is not the kind of country where a great man such as himself should live. In Zhenzhong ji and Nanke taishou zhuan as well as in Oksŏnmong, figures filled with dissatisfaction are essential for the eventual function of the dream as a cautionary and instructive device. Hence, in Oksŏnmong the setting of Chosŏn Korea fulfills a narrative purpose: the initial perception of Chosŏn is tinged with inferiority, but Hŏ Kŏt’ong’s view of Korea changes after he wakes from his Chinese dream. ← 68 | 69 →

2.3.2   Amorous adventures amid fleeting dreams

At the beginning of the dream-narrative of Oksŏnmong, after Chŏn Mongok’s father and mother have passed away, the protagonist decides to travel the country, and in the course of his journey he ventures to win the hearts of several women, just as his literary model Yang Soyu does. However, in comparison to the dream-narrative in KUM, there is one major difference: the women who Chŏn eventually encounters are not predestined for him on account of karmic affinities from a previous existence. Hence, Oksŏnmong lacks a core element of its hypotext KUM, for the somewhat random way in which the figure Chŏn Mongok pursues the courtship of different female characters differs profoundly from Yang Soyu’s predefined quest. Also, although Chŏn Mongok does gather women of different social backgrounds around him at the end of the novel, their mutual lives come to an end when Hŏ Kŏt’ong awakes from his dream. In KUM, on the other hand, karmic bonds inextricably bind Yang Soyu, or better Sŏngjin, to all of his eight beloved, and their relationships do not fade away even after they have all left their mundane selves behind.

Nevertheless, the depictions of the actual procedures of winning the hearts of different women in Oksŏnmong constitute hypertextual reconfigurations of respective models from KUM. For instance, in the second chapter of Oksŏnmong when Chŏn Mongok wants to meet the inapproachable Lady Kye, the manner in which he gains access to her house by dressing up as an old woman selling tea195 reflects the scene in which Yang Soyu disguises himself as a priestess in order to obtain the opportunity to directly inspect the beauty of Chŏng Kyŏngp’ae.196 ← 69 | 70 → Moreover, Chŏn Mongok and Lady Kye’s amorous meeting is broken up when the aforementioned bandits raid the village and Chŏn Mongok has to flee from the area alone. In KUM, Yang Soyu also has to leave his first love Chin Ch’aebong behind when he has to make his escape to the mountains in the wake of a rebellion brought about by the army of Qiu Shiliang 仇士良 (died 843).197

Yang Soyu’s encounter with Chin Ch’aebong, who lives in a tower and falls in love with Yang Soyu over the course of a poetic exchange, can, in a way, also be rediscovered in the fourth chapter of Oksŏnmong. Chŏn Mongok, who now lives in Suzhou, one day goes for a walk and meets a beautiful woman with whom he falls in love at first sight. She then throws down a letter from atop the tower she resides in, telling him to meet her by the building that very night. When the protagonist arrives, she informs him that her name is Tu Ch’aenŭng 杜綵菱, the daughter of the region’s wealthiest man. Eventually, after both have confessed their mutual affection towards one another, they exchange poetic works. Chŏn Mongok has to leave his new beloved in the middle of the night, but not after having promised to stay by her side. However, Tu Ch’aenŭng senses that her father will not allow her to be together with the (at this point of narration) poor scholar Chŏn. Hence, she is caught between the promise she gave to her lover and the way she has to act as a filial daughter. Eventually, she takes her own life by stabbing herself.198 Although the outset of this scene in Oksŏnmong reflects the one in KUM involving Yang Soyu and Chin Ch’aebong, the dramatic narrative turn of the female protagonist’s suicide constitutes a significant alteration in the hypertext. This hypertextual reconfiguration eventually leads to the hero being charged with indecent conduct which prompted the young Tu Ch’aenŭng to commit suicide, and ultimately Chŏn Mongok is sent into exile to Yangzhou.

In Yangzhou the hero comes to meet a number of benefactors who teach him and praise his talents. After having been pardoned, the hero successfully takes the provincial and state examinations, impresses the emperor with his skills in literature and subsequently becomes the husband of princess Sonyŏng 昭寧宮, making him the emperor’s son in law. This, in turn, reflects the storyline of Yang Soyu in KUM, who also becomes the imperial son in law.

The combination of the civil/literary and military realms (wen 文 and wu 武) is embodied by Yang Soyu and Chŏn Mongok alike, for both are equally outstanding as men of letters as well as men of arms. The aforementioned battle ← 70 | 71 → scene in the ninth chapter of Oksŏnmong underpins the protagonist’s superiority in war, but it likewise serves the purpose of introducing the female figure Kuk Ch’aeran 鞠綵籣, daughter of the brother of the rebel Kuk Yongp’il, Kuk Ungp’il 鞠熊弼, who surrenders to Chŏn Mongok after the defeat of her uncle’s troops. Consequently, the protagonist of Oksŏnmong meets one of his women in the realm of a military campaign, just as Yang Soyu does with Sim Yoyŏn 沈裊燕, the assassin, or Paek Nŭngp’a 白凌波, the daughter of the dragon king. Kuk Ch’aeran is an interesting character in several respects: firstly, it is not her own army’s desperate military situation, brought about by the marvelous powers of Chŏn Mongok, which makes her change sides and defect, but rather a dream-encounter with the Mystic Woman of the Ninth Heaven, Jiutian xuannü 九天玄女.199 Secondly, she is the woman who puts Chŏn’s conjugal constellation to a test, for when she enters the capital, the ministers object to her becoming Chŏn’s secondary wife due to his prominent position as the imperial son in law.200 The dilemma of Chŏn Mongok being married to a princess on the one hand, and his desire to maintain an amorous relationship with a woman of lower social status on the other, reflects the storyline of Yang Soyu and Chŏng Kyŏngp’ae from KUM. In KUM, the Queen Dowager likewise opposes Yang Soyu’s desire to stay true to his marriage vows with Chŏng Kyŏngp’ae in spite of his already fixed engagement with Princess Nanyang.201

Another twist of narration featured in KUM is taken up in Oksŏnmong: the late and unexpected reappearance of the respective heroes’ first lovers, i.e. ← 71 | 72 → Chin Ch’aebong and the aforementioned Lady Kye. Both figures become separated from the respective novels’ heroes in the wake of violent uprisings. Chin Ch’aebong becomes a palace-maid and eventually meets Yang, who has by that time become a high official and military general, at court. Lady Kye, who at this later stage of Oksŏnmong becomes known to the reader under her full name Kye Kyŏnghwa 桂瓊華, reenters into the narration as a “simple, poor and unwashed flower girl in dirty clothes”.202 The depiction of the reunion of Chŏn and Kye203 as well as the description of the happy continuation of a relationship which at first appeared to have ended in the wake of the characters’ separation during times of riot are doubtlessly based on the episode of Yang and Chin in KUM. Nevertheless, the author of Oksŏnmong did not take the narrative feedstock as such, but rather altered the given KUM-material in a creative fashion and included the following narrative twist:

High Minister [Chŏn], greatly surprised, realized at a jolt [who she was] and asked: “Lady, by what means did you arrive here?” […] “After I had met chaos in Lihua Village I got myself some men’s clothes, put them on and lived among the Duckweed Marsh rebels for several months. The rebel leader did not know that I was a woman […] and made me his doorman, and thus luckily I was able to avoid the disgrace of being raped. How lucky! The rebels, they always gathered and dispersed, everything changed constantly. One morning they separated and thus, at last, I obtained the opportunity to escape.”204

Such background information concerning the escape from danger is not given in KUM with respect to Chin Ch’aebong. What is more, the author of Oksŏnmong in this passage intricately refers back to the initial episode of the first encounter between Chŏn and Kye in chapter two, for just as disguise was a precondition for their first meeting, camouflage serves as a prerequisite for their eventual reunion: the first scene shows Chŏn cross-dressing as a woman, while the second scene ← 72 | 73 → shows Kye cross-dressing as a man. Though this is a nice twist of narration, the idea as such is, of course, not new, for the general motif of a woman cross-dressing as a man to infiltrate certain circles can, for instance, already be discovered in KUM itself: here, the figure Chŏk Kyŏnghong also disguises herself as a man to enter the camp of Yang Soyu.

2.3.3   The weariness of human pursuit

The final awakening scene in KUM is vital for the philosophic and religious structure of the novel that was so carefully devised by Kim Manjung. Thus, one passage demanding closer inspection at this stage is the ending of the hypertext Oksŏnmong, i.e. the awakening from the dream. Just as it is the case with Yang Soyu at the end of KUM, the short eleventh chapter of Oksŏnmong shows Chŏn Mongok becoming increasingly weary of worldly affairs. In the wake of his wife the princess’s early death due to a measles infection, alongside his two remaining women Kuk Ch’aeran and Kye Kyŏnghwa he moves back to his home county where he resides as a country scholar. Here, further connections can be drawn to the way in which Yang Soyu retires from office in the final chapter of KUM. Yet there are differences in the portrayal of the heroes’ awakening: in Oksŏnmong, there is no guided return to the frame story as is the case in KUM (and Kuullu/Kuun’gi) with Master Yukkwan entering the dream and leading Sŏngjin out of his dreamer’s state, but rather a slipping out of the alternate reality in the wake of a conversation on the topic of the principle of in’gwa 因果, “cause and effect”, with a monk at Lingyin Monastery 靈隱寺. In the closing part of the frame-narrative of Oksŏnmong, the vacuity of human pursuit and the tragic nature of human condition are particularly stressed by the omniscient narrator who advises the world’s rich and honored to look at the story and beware that everything is but a springtime dream (an advice clearly modelled after that in Nanke taishou zhuan)205:

Leaning himself against a pillow he sat down. He was in a daze, […] it was as if he was drunk, he forgot all of the manifold sorrows and joys of the mundane world […] and then the grotto-heaven abruptly crumbled, clouds and hazes were dark and dusky, his mind was paralyzed like a star in a well, swaying like smoke on the wind, as if he was there and as if he was not, and suddenly […] it all took form and he awoke, lying in front of the statue of the Vajra-Buddha and underneath the incense-burner table. His yellow hat and his straw-made shoes were scattered by his side, and, just as before, he was the ← 73 | 74 → fallen, impoverished Hŏ Kŏt’ong. He took a look at the place where he was, and saw that it was Ch’ŏnghak Grotto in the Chiri Mountains. Though forty years of service had clearly passed before, he had now returned from a fantasy that had lasted only a short moment. [It had all been but a single dream,] just like the pillow-dream of Old Man Lü in Handan, or that dream dreamed by Chun Yufen – all matters void and confused. One cannot know whether Kŏt’ong in his dream became Mongok, or Mongok in his dream became Kŏt’ong.206 A hundred years of honor and disgrace, but there is nothing that is not a single springtime dream! You honorable, rich, successful ones in the world, you all look at this! Kŏt’ong was bewildered, sad, depressed. He had awoken to the Way, and now he renounced the secular life to become a monk. Nothing is known of his end.207

The overall message, i.e. the renouncement of secular life in favor of a religious one, can be found in both KUM and Oksŏnmong. Yet while Sŏngjin’s return to the Buddha is easily recognizable as a positive rebirth, Hŏ’s awakening is more difficult to grasp. He is said to be sad and depressed, as he is not the marvelous Chinese scholar and general anymore. On the other hand, this sadness might be hypothesized to have arisen from the realization that, before falling asleep, he had mistaken his own country Chosŏn Korea as small and insignificant in comparison to China. This is the case, because Hŏ Kŏt’ong does not come to his senses at some undetermined place, but specifically in Ch’ŏnghak tong, Blue Crane Grotto,208 perhaps the most blissful place in all of Korean mythology. Ch’ŏnghak tong is the name of an actual place located in the Chiri mountains, but from ← 74 | 75 → early on it likewise gained a reputation as a secluded earthen paradise of the sort described in Tao Yuanming’s 陶淵明 (365–427) Taohuayuanji 桃花源記 (A Record of Peach Blossom Spring). Blue Crane Grotto is mentioned as such a Grotto Heaven in the fourteenth entry of P’ahan chip (Collection to Break up Idleness) by Yi Illo 李仁老 (1152–1220), a piece of Koryŏ 高麗 dynasty (918–1392) sihwa 詩話 (Discussions on Poetry).209 In P’ahan chip it reads:

In former times, old men transmitted the following amongst one another: “Amidst it [the Chiri mountains] is Ch’ŏnghak Grotto. The path that leads there is extremely narrow, barely admitting a person to pass through. When you travel on it, you have to crouch and crawl for several dozens of miles and only then you will get to a wide open area where there are rich fields and fertile soils in all four directions, which are just right for sowing and planting.210 A blue crane perches and rests in its middle, and for this reason it is named after it. It used to be a place where those resided who in former times hid away from the world, and crumbled walls and earthen structures still exist amid heaps of thorny briers.” […] When I had read this [Taoyuan] ji [before], I had simply not yet been mature enough for it. Truly, there is no difference with Ch’ŏnghak Grotto. How could even a high-minded scholar like Liu Ziji211 have gone out only a single time and found it?212 ← 75 | 76 →

Legend has it that the Silla dynasty (668–936) scholar and poet Ch’oe Ch’iwŏn 崔致遠 (857–c. 910) withdrew to Ch’ŏnghak Grotto after his return from Tang China, eventually mounted the blue crane and flew away to become a Daoist immortal (he is otherwise believed to have died at Haein Temple). Hence, when in the very last scene of Oksŏnmong Hŏ Kŏt’ong wakes from his dream of a life of worldly success, mundane affairs and earthly hardships, it appears as if he realizes that all his struggles and worries were senseless to begin with, for he already had been in paradise before he longed for something else, and entered the dream. In this respect, Oksŏnmong perhaps complies with its primary hypotext KUM, for Sŏngjin comes to the same conclusion when he reenters the heavenly Buddhist realm at the end of the novel. The only difference between hypo- and hypertext regarding the protagonists’ awakening is the highly interesting shift of focus towards Chosŏn Korea, the country which had at first appeared to be but an insignificant “Little China”, but is indeed the place where an earthly paradise is located.

2.4   Re-invented hypertexts of Kuunmong

As has been demonstrated, Oksŏnmong strongly reflects the influence of KUM. This especially becomes apparent in the long middle section’s dream-narrative, in the depiction of the specific ways in which the protagonist has to assemble several women from different social backgrounds in accordance with the rites. On the one hand, a potential nineteenth century Chosŏn Korean readership will most likely have identified KUM as the primary hypotext of Oksŏnmong, due to the high degree of hypertextuality. On the other hand, such an intended readership will also have identified the creative digestion of KUM in Oksŏnmong, and acknowledged the hypertextual transformations made by the author of the hypertext, the most obvious of which are the partial de-heroization of the main figure, who has to face many more trials and perils than his counterpart from the parent novel, and the Korean setting of the frame-narrative.

The same applies for the other KUM-hypertexts introduced, for although one does find different degrees of explicitness regarding the reconfigurations of the narrative feedstock offered by the mutual hypotext KUM, in all of the presented hypertexts there is an inherent sense of play, produced in part by the activation of a potential reader’s informed sense of similarity and difference between the texts ← 76 | 77 → invoked, and the connected interplay of expectation and surprise.213 Though to varying degrees, the authors of re-invented hypertexts such as Oksŏnmong, Ongnumong, Chang Kukchin chŏn or Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn did take specific passages and scenes from KUM in order to remodel and transform them on their own individual and unique terms. The Chosŏn Korean writers of the presented KUM-hypertexts all appear to have geared their hypertexts towards a readership that could acknowledge, interpret and judge the various hypertextual reconfigurations, which can partly also be understood as hypertextual commentaries, for instance in the case of the vastly enlarged depictions of military campaigns in Chang Kukchin chŏn.214 Judging from the popularity of KUM and its prominent role in the realm of commercial publishing (especially as a work written in Literary Chinese), Chosŏn Korean readers possessed knowledge of KUM to such an extent that they will have been able to acknowledge the relations between hypo- and hypertexts. Apart from this, all of the presented KUM-hypertexts (also those merely extant in vernacular Korean) work with and require knowledge of Chinese literature, and none of the texts could have been written or read without the background-knowledge of Chinese popular literature. As was shown, Oksŏnmong, for instance, is to a considerable degree also a transcultural novel which reflects the fusion of Chinese and Korean literature. ← 77 | 78 →

91 上曰, 九雲夢, 誰之作耶? 明履曰, 金萬重所作矣. See: Sŭngjŏngwŏn ilgi, 27th year of the reign of King Yŏngjo, 3rd month, 15th day.

92 晩曰, 承旨金陽澤, 卽萬重之至親, 故問之則果是萬重之所作, 而萬重, 爲其病親而作云矣. In: ibid. Later, Yŏngjo apparently had even read KUM, for he states with regards to the work: “[Kuunmong] is good literature!” 上曰, 善文矣. See: ibid, Yŏngjo 37 (1761), 7th month, 11th day.

93 In the North Korean historiography of Korean literature and university textbook Chosŏn munhaksa by Kim Hamyŏng, the author relates another interesting anecdote about the purported background of creation of KUM: “When Kim Manjung went to China as an envoy, his mother, who dearly liked storybooks, asked him to buy a Chinese novel for her there, but [Kim Manjung] forgot about this and only remembered it when he had already crossed back over the Yalu [and had reentered Korea]. Thus he wrote [the novel Kuunmong] inside his sedan-chair, and additionally called it Kyojunggi 轎中記 (Records from within a sedan-chair).” 그리고 ‘구운몽’의 창작 경위에 대해서는 다른 또 하나의 일화가 전하고 있다. 즉 김 만중이 중국에 사신으로 갈 때에 이야기 책을 좋아하는 그의 어머니가 그곳 소설 작품을 사 가지고 오라고 부탁하였는데 그만 이것을 잊고 돌아 오다가 압룩강을 건너서야 생각이 나서 가마 속에서 썼으므로 이것을 또한 ‘교중기(轎中記)’라고도 하였다는 것이다. Kim goes on to say, however, that this anecdote lacks credibility. See: Kim, Chosŏn munhaksa, 282.

94 昔金萬重日夜間作九雲夢, 以獻其母, 况予養志之具, 亶其在斯. See: Muak, Han’guk kososŏl kwallyŏn charyojip, 282.

95 One line reads: “When Ch’aebong cried, willows were dark green” (Ch’aebong myŏng si ryujo pyŏk 彩鳳鳴時柳條碧).

96 The respective line reads: “At the place that Sŏmwŏl illuminates, cherry blossoms bloom in white” (Sŏmwŏl choch’ŏ aenghwa paek 纖月照處櫻花白).

97 This line reads: “Kyŏngp’ae discusses an old tune inside the palace” (Kyŏngp’ae kungjung p’yŏng kojo 瓊貝宮中評古調).

98 See: Muak, Han’guk kososŏl kwallyŏn charyojip, 315–316. Though Yi Yango did partake in the state examinations, he eventually failed and spent the rest of his life as an impoverished scholar. Of his twelve volume collected writings Pan’gye chip 磻溪集, only two volumes are extant. See: ibid, 105.

99 春香 門前에 當到하니 城市가 멀쟎은데 山林物色 좋을씨고. 집 뒤에 靑山이요, 門 앞에 綠水로다. 시냇가에 두른 버들 秦彩鳳의 洞內런가. 墻垣을 덮은櫻桃 桂蟾月의 살던 덴가. See: Kang, Sin Chaehyo p’ansori sosŏl chip, 15.

100 The term p’aegwan sosŏl 稗官小說 means fictional narratives.

101 稗說有九雲夢者 卽西浦所作 大旨以功名富貴 歸之於一場春夢, 要以慰釋大夫人憂思. 其書盛行閨閤間, 余兒時, 慣聞其說. See: Ibid, 135.

102 In addition, representatives of the middle class (chungin 中人), and foreigners such as the translator Oda Ikugorō 小田幾五郞 (1754–1831) of Tsushima had knowledge of KUM. In 1794, Oda Ikugorō included KUM in a list of Chosŏn Korean works of narrative fiction in his Shōsho kibun 象胥紀聞. See: Muak, Han’guk kososŏl kwallyŏn charyojip, 281.

103 世傳, 金北軒著 九雲夢及南記等小說, 使宮女朝夕諷誦. See: Sŏl, Kuunmong-ŭi t’ongsijŏk yŏn’gu, 282.

104 倏忽而過, 無非天香國色, 或掬錢擲散於橋上, 幹車的輩, 奔走拾去, 未知其意也, 余笑謂雲曰, 勝於楊少遊石橋逢仙, 何不拾買路錢乎. See: Han’guk kojŏn pŏnyŏkwŏn.

105 Although Pak Saho mistakenly states that Yang Soyu and not the monk Sŏngjin met the immortal women, it shows that he knew the work and was able to quickly refer to it in order to compare it to the scene that unfolded before his eyes on a bridge in Beijing.

106 See: Yu, Kuunmong und die koreanische Literaturwissenschaft, 70.

107 The times of creation of most of these folding screens are apparently difficult to determine, but many are believed to have been made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A complete list can be found in: Chŏng, Kuunmong to yŏn’gu, 383–385.

108 In the Hanyang ka it says that in a shop underneath Kwangt’ong Bridge in Seoul there were paintings and folding-screens for sale. Among these pieces of art was a painting of Sŏngjin larking with the eight fairies, throwing flowers that transformed into pearls, on a vertical scroll. 횡축을볼시면 구운몽 셩진이가 팔션녀희롱여 투화셩쥬모양. See:, page 23 (last checked on April 26th, 2017). The extant versions of the Kuunmong to are all folding screens, not scrolls. Chŏng Pyŏngsŏl states that of those Kuunmong to, of which only a single illustration is left, this depiction of Sŏngjin and the women on the stone bridge is by far the most frequent. See: Chŏng, Kuunmong to yŏn’gu, 386. The sentence from Hanyang ka, however, gives the impression that paintings showing this scene were sold independently, and that there did not necessarily have to be illustrations of other KUM scenes attached.

109 An illustration of a scene from KUM is also mentioned in the p’ansori Kyeusa 戒友詞 (Song about warning a Friend). These Kuunmong to are also discussed in detail by Chŏng Pyŏngsŏl in chapter four of: Kyujanggak han’gukhak yŏn’guwŏn, eds. Kŭrimŭro pon Chosŏn. Seoul: Kŭl hangari, 2013.

110 The illustration above is the frontispiece of: Gale, The Cloud Dream of the Nine.

111 We find such illustrations, for example, in woodblock-print editions of Xixiangji. As, for instance, the poem Che Sŏsanggi 題西廂記 (Written on Xixiangji) by Yi Kŏn 李健 (1614–1662) shows, Xixiangji was already circulating in Korea during Kim Manjung’s lifetime in the seventeenth century, and the drama eventually came to be the most popular and widely read Chinese work in late Chosŏn dynasty Korea.

112 As can be seen above, the initial illustration contained in A Cloud Dream of the Nine shows the monk Sŏngjin standing in front of the stone bridge, which is being blocked by the eight fairies. Gale labelled the illustration “The Fairies on the Bridge”, while the original heading on the upper margin of the illustration says sŏkkyo kiyŏn 石橋奇緣, the “strange fated relationship of the stone bridge”. None of the other illustrations bear titles inscribed on the actual picture, but (most likely) Gale applied printed English labels, as well as handwritten abbreviations of the hanmun titles of the respective KUM chapters above them. For instance, the second illustration is labelled “The Chun-jin Pavilion” (Gale, The Cloud Dream of the Nine, 40), while the handwritten Chinese title reads churu t’ak kye wŏnp’i ch’ŏnhyŏn 酒樓擢桂鴛被薦賢, “In the Wine Pavilion [he] selects Kye / On the [bed covered with a] mandarin duck quilt [she] recommends a virtuous person”, an abbreviation of the third chapter’s title-couplet, which reads Yang ch’ŏlli churu t’ak kye Kye Sŏmwŏl wŏnp’i ch’ŏnhyŏn 楊千里酒樓擢桂 桂蟾月鴛被薦賢.

113 See, for instance: Bouchez, Daniel. “Kuunmong-ŭi chŏjak ŏnŏ pyŏnjŭng”. In Han’guk hakpo 68, 1992; Bouchez, Daniel. “Wŏnmun pip’yŏng-ŭi pangbŏmnon-e kwanhan sogo”. In: Tongbank hakchi 95, 1997, 142–172.

114 Many of these cannot be dated and are believed to constitute handwritten copies of prior woodblock prints.

115 The following table as well as this paragraph on the different editions of KUM is taken from Yu, Kuunmong und die koreanische Literaturwissenschaft, 71–74.

116 Another criterion for the designation as an N-Type is the existence of the title of the initial chapter, the first part of the frame-narrative, i.e “Nochonsa namak kang myobŏp” 老尊師南嶽講妙法 (An old Master at Southern Peak explains the mysterious Dharma).

117 See: Walraven, Reader’s Etiquette, 254.

118 Compare: Sonja Häußler in: Kindlers Literatur Lexikon. Digital edition, Stuttgart: Metzler, 2009.

119 See: Walraven, Reader’s Etiquette, 258.

120 See: Chŏng, Kuunmong charyo chipsŏng 2, 345.

121 Such a Kyehaebon-edition is contained in: Chŏng, Kuunmong charyo chipsŏng 2. Hence, whenever passages from KUM are quoted in the present study, this Kyehaebon-edition is utilized, as it is important to work with the KUM edition which was still “intact” and which circulated in Korea on the largest scale in the nineteenth century at the time of the creation of this study’s main object of research, Kuullu/Kuun’gi.

122 Compared to other popular premodern Korean works this number is quite high. For instance, 37% of Sa-ssi namjŏnggi-editions are composed in Literary Chinese; 10% of all Ch’unhyang chŏn are hanmun-editions; only 1 % hanmun-editions in the case of Hong Kiltong chŏn. With respect to woodblock prints, these three works were published almost exclusively in han’gŭl. See: Yu, Kuunmong und die koreanische Lite­raturwissenschaft, 23.

123 See: Genette, Palimpsests, 35.

124 These texts are today, for instance, treated as belonging to a single genre in a subchapter of the authoritative Hang’uk munhak t’ongsa (A Comprehensive History of Korean Literature) entitled “Transfigurations of novels from the realm of Kuunmong and Sa-ssi namjŏnggi” ‘구운몽’ ‘사씨남정기’계 소설의 변모. See: Cho, Han’guk munhak t’ongsa, 514.

125 Concerning the term pŏnan and other premodern and early modern terms for translation and adaptation, see, for instance: Cho, Translation’s forgotten history, 21.

126 As visible in the title of the Chosŏn sosŏlsa subchapter “Kuunmong-ŭi pŏnan mong-charyu-ŭi ryuhaeng 九雲夢의 飜案 “夢”字類의 流行. See: Kim, Chosŏn sosŏlsa, 89.

127 While Kim T’aejun writes Chang Kukchin chŏn 張國鎭傳, the title of the work usually appears as Chang Kukchin chŏn張國振傳, with a different Chinese character for chin. See, for instance, Han’guk minjok munhwa taebaekkwa sajŏn 韓國民族文化大百科事典, viewable in:

128 Ch’oun 楚雲appears to be an accidental misspelling by Kim T’aejun. The respective figure in Chang Kukchin chŏn actually appears as Ch’unun and really has the same name as the figure Ka Ch’unun 賈春雲 from KUM.

129 나는 이에 對하야 獨斷的이지만은 謫降七仙林虎隱傳은 說話의內容이 九雲夢과酷似하야 宋나라蘇州사람林虎隱을 主人公으로하고 그를 圍繞한六名의女性이 宿世의因緣으로 한집에모혀들어 一世榮華를못할것없이 다하다가 다시구름을타고 하날로올라갓다는이약이니 九雲夢에對해서 七雲夢이라고하여도좋겟으며 九雲夢에比하면分量도적고 章囘小說도아니요 搆想도纎密티못한곧이많으며 書名좇아某某傳이라는 原始的表題임으로 九雲夢의藍本이나아닌가한다. 或은林虎隱傳도西浦의作이아닌지알수없다. 다음에 九雲夢과 因緣이第一갓가운것은 張國鎭傳이니 […] 1. 小女桂香의侍婢楚雲과 鄭小姐의侍婢春雲과 人名과性格이 近似한것 2. 張國鎭이 女服을입고李小姐의집에들어가서 鳳求凰곡을奏한것은 楊少游가 鄭小姐를 誘引하든手段과같고 […] 3. 그他 說話의大統이 서로같다. 張國鎭傳은 그동안書名이 여러 번變한것으로 보아도 年代가相當히오랜듯하야 林虎隱傳과 張國鎭傳같은것이扮本이되여 九雲夢이 된것은아닌가생각한다. In: Kim, Chosŏn sosŏlsa, 87–88.

130 The manuscript is stored at Changsŏgak Library. The first modern edition, published in 1926 by Hoedong sŏgwan 匯東書館, is entitled Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn and only shows the nowadays more prominent title Im Hoŭn chŏn in brackets and small print. In comparison to The Biography of Im Hoŭn, the title The Banishment of the Seven Immortals is much more in line with that of the hypotext KUM, as it puts an emphasis on the similar core plotlines of both works. It might well be that a premodern readership would have thought of KUM when reading the title Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn. Obviously, this title was considered the work’s main one in the early modern age.

131 Extant in manuscript form, stored in the National Library of Korea as well as the library of Seoul National University. First modern editions published by Tonga sŏgwan 東亞書館 in 1916 and Taech’ang sŏwŏn 大昌書館 in 1921. The Taech’ang sŏwŏn edition is entitled Kodăi sosyŏl Chang Kukchin chŏn (The premodern novel Biography of Chang Kukchin).

132 “임호은전” (林虎隱傳)을 축소판의 한 예로 들 수 있다. 주인공이 여섯 아내와 인연을 이루고 장수로서 공을 세워 고귀한 지위에 오르는 과정이 흡사해 “구운몽”의 원형이 아닌가 하는 추측을 자아내기도 한 작품인데, 선후관계가 그 반대라고 하는 편이 타당하다. “장국진전” (張國振傳)도 “구운몽”을 본뜬 흔적이 뚜렷하다. 결연 과정에 주인공이 여복을 하고 선을 보러가는 대목이 있다든가, 시비의 이름이 같다든가 하는 점이 그 증거이다. 전장에 나간 남편을 부인이 몰래 도우며 도술로써 구출한다는 것은 새롭게 보탠 구상이다. See: Cho, Han’guk munhak t’ongsa, 528.

133 悔軒閑見金北軒春澤之九雲夢南征記等書, 乃作玉麟夢十五卷, 文甚奇妙. See: Ch’oe, Ongninmong chakka yŏn’gu, 192.

134 See: Genette, Palimpsests, 9.

135 See: Cho Bantley, Embracing Illusion, 88.

136 Ch’a Yongju, for example, says that mong-cha-ryu-texts all bear the following features: firstly, a dreamer who is either someone who has failed in the state examinations or who is otherwise at odds with his personal desires; secondly, there has to be someone who leads the eventual dreamer into the dream; thirdly, the events in the dream have to have a cause from the frame-narrative; fourthly, the incidents in the dream have to evolve around the dreamer; fifthly, there are no supernatural beings that take action; sixthly, after awakening, the vacuity of life has to be felt and the character has to be remorseful concerning his wrongdoings. See: Ch’a, Mongyurok, 21–22.

137 Compare: Olsen, Hybrid Narratives, 81.

138 See: Derrida, Structure, Sign and Play, 400.

139 See: King, Mosaic techniques and traditions, 9.

140 The term “creative writing”, which here has to be understood in a very limited sense, will be discussed in the chapter “Hypotexts of Kuullu/Kuun’gi and the issue of readership awareness”.

141 For instance, Peter H. Lee states: “Though Ongnumong inherited from the Dream of Nine Clouds a critical consciousness and dream-vision structure, it takes a more realistic direction and reveals an interest in transient desire with the critical recognition of political reality. Instead of concluding with a Buddhist awakening, the poor and lowly scholar Yang Ch’anggok is made to confront violently the force that has monopolized power whilst he is in the process of accomplishing wealth, rank, fame, and love, while Kang Namhong, one of his wives and concubines, is developed as a character who improves her lot through lively individuality and action.” See: Lee, A History of Korean Literature, 280.

142 In Chosŏn sosŏlsa it says: “However, the style and concept of Ongnumong generally merges with that of Kuunmong, […].” 그렇나 玉樓夢은 그體裁와構想이 도로혀九雲夢을併吞하고 […]. See: Kim, Chosŏn sosŏlsa, 90.

143 此時蘇杭文士滿集江亭, 整齊衣冠 選擇紙筆 分排東西 兩府妓女百餘名 […] 列在左右 […] 楊公子流秋水两眼, 一一審見, 其中有一妓, 不言不笑, 悄然而坐 […] 傾城傾國之態, 吾於古書而知之, 今見其人, 此必非尋常女子, 心是少年所言江南紅, 從諸士參坐末席, 此時江南紅脉脉而坐, 流一雙秋波審見席上諸士, 無非區區碌碌者, 草草之衣, 淡淡之狀, 雖貧士之踪踪 […] 如滄海神龍乘風雲. […] 蘇杭諸士各出勝癖, […] 紅娘故取蘇杭諸士之詩先看數十章, 都是陳談無出衆者, […] 方拾見楊公子之投箋 […] 可爲水中之月鏡中之花 […] 紅娘熟視, 綠眉雙展, 丹唇半開, 抽出髫上金鳯釵擊酒壺, 轉清音而歌. See: Im, Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 2, 14–15.

144 In Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn, Im Hoŭn and his six wives are at the end of the novel called back to the heavenly realm from which they were banished, but the mundane life they led is not marked as a void dream.

145 국진왈소친히가서계양소저를취랴이다부인왈너남로서무엇을빙고남의규즁쳐를보려냐니국진이남복을벗고의단장으로녀복을장속니남중호걸이변야녀중군라승상과부인이보고아리온도를핑판더라[…]샤히살펴본즉[…]계집은아니오텬하영웅긔남라쇼졔놀나이러셔며금향으로압흘가리고밧비드러가거날[…]. See: Kodăi sosyŏl Chang Kukchin chŏn, 8–9.

146 Compare: Chŏkkang ch’ilsŏn, 280–290

147 Compare: ibid, 291–298.

148 The covers of both volumes of the manuscript show the name T’ang Ong. On the first page of the first volume it says “Written by T’ang Ong” 宕翁著, yet on the first page of the second volume it says “Written by T’ang Am” 宕菴著.

149 The two volumes are labeled kŏn 乾 and kon 坤, “heaven” and “earth”. The manuscript is stored at the National Library of Korea, and is viewable under

150 Interestingly, there also exists a presumably late premodern han’gŭl-work entitled Hŏ Kŏt’ong ka 許巨通歌 (Song of Hŏ Kŏt’ong). Though the protagonist’s name is the same, and although there are similar plotlines, this short “song”-piece is said to differ from Oksŏnmong on a content level. The original of Hŏ Kŏt’ong ka is contained in: Pae, Hŏ Kŏt’ong ka yŏn’gu.

151 Compare for example: Cho, Han’guk munhak t’ongsa, 525.

152 In Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 3, the manuscript has been “polished”, as the novel here appears as a text in “pure hanmun”. The reasons for and implications of this transformation back into pure Literary Chinese cannot be debated at this point but should be scrutinized in the future.

153 See, for instance: Cho, Han’guk munhak t’ongsa, 526. However, in a great article on the novel, Kim Kyŏngmi has challenged this hypothesis by stating that the fact that the author of Oksŏnmong had a command of idu alone cannot serve to prove that he was a clerk. Kim, for instance, points to the fact that someone like Chŏng Yagyong 丁若鏞 (1762–1836) also knew idu well. See: Kim, Oksŏnmong-ŭi sŏnggyŏk, 304.

154 一無不知是白加尼이더니 昨日初更時分矣 宅墙東居錢秀才偷身入楼娘子不甚拒却 是白이矣女雖不知肯綮似有前日之約矣繼以訽律唱和是如可이다가未乃要與俱去[…]秀才再三固請是白良置이아두娘娘終不諾肯是如이다. See: Oksŏnmong, digital edition (National Library of Korea), vol. 1, 60.

155 Ibid, 61.

156 Compare: Kim, Oksŏnmong-ŭi sŏnggyŏk, 303.

157 See, for instance: Oksŏnmong, vol. 1, 18; 26.

158 Ibid, 64. In Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip, this kot appears as the regular classic Chinese ch’ŏ 處. See: Im, Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 3, 266.

159 Compare: Kim, Oksŏnmong-ŭi sŏnggyŏk, 304.

160 The manuscript of Mulmyŏnggo is viewable in digital version on the website of the National Library of Korea. The theory that a work such as Mulmyŏnggo might have inspired the author of Oksŏnmong to insert Korean glosses of Chinese terms in this fashion is already mentioned in: ibid, 305.

161 Viewable in: Last checked: March 27th, 2017.

162 Oksŏnmong, vol. 2, 1. In the Sŏyugi ŏrok we find a similar gloss for yogun 腰裙, rendered as turŏngi 두렁이, which also refers to a skirt or an overcoat. See: Last checked: March 27th, 2017.

163 Ibid, 5.

164 See: Goodson, Narrative Learning, 12.

165 The expression hengqi shuba, for instance, appears in chapter thirty-four of Shuihu zhuan.

166 This passage reads: “From the bamboo forest behind the village there arose a great noise and the sound of canons thundered through the mountains as a group of roaring bandits stormed down the mountain. The lady Kyŏng was greatly alarmed and hurriedly said to Mengyu: “These are necessarily those bandits who have been throwing Jianghuai into confusion. Now they’ve come to rob this place. You should quickly flee and save your life, and please do not be attached too strongly to only a single woman.” Mengyu then rapidly climbed over the wall and disappeared. Right then a horde of bandits ran straight into Lihua Village, thrusting here, striking there, there was complete disorder and before long […] blue, black, and dark red flags were flying in confusion.” 自村後竹林 大發喊聲 砲響震山, 一支嘍囉撥風下山來, 瓊娘喫了驚, 急謂夢玉曰, 此必江淮間蕩賊, 剽掠至此, 郎君急急逃命, 愼勿戀於一女子, 夢玉乃慌忙踰墻而去. 這箇夥賊直向梨花洞中, 東衝西突 […] 靑的黑的絳的旗脚, 眩眩相撞. See: Oksŏnmong, vol. 1, 34–35.

167 Both novellas have been translated into English in: Nienhauser, Tang Dynasty Tales, 73–188. In many KUM-hypertexts we find the expression namga ilmong 南柯一夢, “one dream of the southern branch”, which refers to states of dreaming. This expression derives directly from the title of the novella by Li Gongzuo and shows that the tale was part of a shared realm of knowledge in the Chosŏn dynasty.

168 At the very end of Oksŏnmong the protagonist’s dream is said to be “just like the pillow-dream of Old Man Lü in Handan”. See: Im, Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 3, 324.

169 Compare: Nienhauser, Tang Dynasty Tales, 157. Also, see the subchapter “The weariness of human pursuit”.

170 For instance, in a poem entitled U 又 (Again) by Sin Ikhwang 申益愰 (1672–1722) contained in Kar’amjip 葛庵集 it reads: “Fleeting glory is like steaming millet” 浮榮黍一炊. The life within a dream in Zhenzhong ji is dreamed in the time it takes Old Man Lü to steam a bowl of millet. In a similar fashion the novella is referred to in the poem Tong Sŏn’o chak 同善吾作 (Created Together with Sŏn’o) by Hwang Hyŏn 黃玹 (1855–1910). References to Nanke taishou zhuan appear in poems by Chang Yu 張維 (1587–1638) or Pak Sedang 朴世堂 (1629–1703).

171 See: Kim, Oksŏnmong-ŭi sŏnggyŏk, 302–303.

172 See the subchapter “Textual borrowings from Shuihu zhuan”.

173 Concerning the frame setting of Oksŏnmong, Chang Sŏngnyŏn writes: “Such a way of entering the dream in the outset narration is a commonly used narrative device in mongyu sosŏl and is a distinction to monghwan sosŏl [mong-cha-ryu]. Moreover, in Oksŏnmong the protagonist is not convicted of a sin and sent down to earth from the heavenly realms as in the other monghwan sosŏl. […] Seen from this angle, the frame-narrative of Oksŏnmong can be said to belong to the genre of mongyu sosŏl.” See: Chang, Mongjaryu sosŏl yŏn’gu, 38.

174 The self-referential term used for Chosŏn here is chwahae 左海, which has also been translated as “left of Bohai”.

175 In late Chosŏn, Korea was often proclaimed to be a so chunghwa 小中華, a “Little China”, that had a responsibility to protect and carry on Han-Chinese culture after the fall of the Ming.

176 Taeyŏng 大瀛 is the ancient name of Kangnŭng.

177 Tamna 儋羅is Cheju Island.

178 The Taedong River.

179 Sŏsura probably refers to a county in present time Northern Hamgyŏng Province.

180 In the vicinity of present day Inch’ŏn.

181 This is Mount Halla on Cheju Island.

182 This refers to the legend of Tan’gun.

183 This refers to the myth of the Silla King T’arhae 新羅 脫解王.

184 This could be a reference to the legend of the deer-footed girl who saved Koguryŏ from Chinese invasion. The legend is retold in: Zo, Longevity Faith and Long Life Art, 32.

185 A reference to Sŏl Ch’ong 薛聰 (c. 660–730). Son of Wŏnhyo by a widowed Silla princess, Sŏl earned his position as a trusted adviser to King Sinmun by telling him the story of the peony, perhaps the first recorded parable in Korean literature. The King of Flowers, it went, was seeking a companion. Given the choice between a beautiful and seductive young woman – a rose – who offered physical comforts (behind the fragrant curtain one may add), and a dowdy, limping old man – a pasque-flower – the wavering king accepted the latter, though not without a certain amount of persuasion. See: Pratt, Everlasting Flower, 76.

186 According to legend, the Silla dynasty general Kim Yusin 金庾信 entered a cave on Chung’ak Mountain where he fasted and swore an oath to put an end to the political disorder of his time. After four days an old man came to him, and Kim Yusin recognized him as a supernatural being. For several days, Kim pleaded to learn the old man’s secret, and finally the old man spoke, “Even though you are young, you are determined to unify the Three Kingdoms, this certainly indicates a strong character.” Then the old man taught him his secret methods, and disappeared.

187 Chibong yusŏl 芝峰類說 (Classified Essays of Chibong; completed in 1614) by Yi Sugwang (1563–1628, pen name Chibong).

188 The character han 㒏 means “petty” or “insignificant”.

189 Meaning “great comprehension”.

190 左海之壖, 有小中華焉. 槿其花, 鰈其魚, 析木其分也, 東至于大瀛, 南至于耽羅, 西至于浿江, 北至于西脩羅. 環數千里而區以爲國焉. 域中有名之山, 曰金剛也, 曰摩尼也, 曰漢挐也, 中國所謂三神山者也. 蓋自草昧之時, 頗多靈異之事, 神熊降檀, 而桓因(帝釋也)誕化, 靈鵲隨櫝, 而慈充(巫也新羅南解王之稱)鍚姓 […], 滿石僧也, 而㘴化爲佛, 綠竹女也, 而幻生於鹿女, 蔷薇之願薦香帷, 是耶非耶 […] 金庾信之授語石窟人也, 鬼也. 黄生夢爲開闢之主 (出芝峰類說), 愚僧幻入石竇之國 […], 這個荒唐說話, 班班在好事者之口, 而固未可準信, 蓋其山川毓其譎慌靈怪之精, […] 青壄主脈曰白頭山也 […] 散出爲千兒萬孫 […] 靑南一脈, 東迤南走數千餘里 […] 景泰末, 萬項縣有一破落户, 姓許名㒏巨通其字也. 磊落不覊, 志大嘐嘐. 嘗自言曰: 大丈夫生於海隅偏邦, 不能伸肺腑間硊礧之氣, 良可慨憐, 若使吾後身生於中華廣宕之地, 遍踏三十六名區, 立於天子之朝, […] 然後死無所憾矣. 一日, 以黃冠艸屩上智異山靑鶴洞, 一庵子憩焉. 正時四月和暢時分也, 烟景惱神, 煙花纈眼, 憑睡於金剛佛前香卓之下, 精神忽若烟浮, 飛入中國山川. See: Oksŏnmong, vol. 1, 1–3.

191 Knechtges names the following three features as decisive for a tale of this kind: Firstly, a “vision of grandeur” in which the dreaming hero achieves great success in attaining his goals. Secondly, a temporal illusion of time in which the dream seems to occupy a long period (in most instances, a whole lifetime), but, it is discovered upon awakening, has occurred in a very brief time. Thirdly, there has to be a time measuring notice to show just how brief the dream actually was – the dream occurs, for example, in the span of time required to cook a meal, wash hands, or saddle horses. See: Cho Bantley, Embracing Illusion, 87–88.

192 As determined by, for example, Ch’a Yongju. See: Ch’a, Mongyurok, 20.

193 As can be seen in the passage preceding Sŏngjin’s banishment from the heavenly realm. See translation in: Gale, The Cloud Dream of the Nine, 11.

194 For instance, while Scholar Lu from Zhenzhong ji laments that he has failed to “establish meritorious deeds and sow a name” or that he is not “out [on the battlefield] as a general and in [the palace] as a minister”, Hŏ Kŏt’ong from Oksŏnmong likewise bewails his fate of having been born in such a small and inferior country as Chosŏn Korea and expresses the desire to be reborn in China as a successful and influential man.

195 The hero Chŏn Mongok sojourns the country until he arrives in Lihua Village. In a teahouse, where he enquires whether there was no better tea than the one he has been served, he learns that the beautiful eldest daughter of the Kye clan is said to brew the most delicious tea. However, Lady Kye is also said to be a difficult woman to approach. Hence, Chŏn Mongok dresses as an old woman selling tea in order to be admitted to the residence of the Kye family. There he actually meets the girl, who is an expert on tea and who challenges him to determine which one of them knows more about the beverage. Later at night she makes him play the zither, to the music of which they recite poems. His verse then betrays his male identity, and he must confess the entire scheme. Yet she appears to have known about his real identity all along and has long since fallen in love with him. The tea-episode from Oksŏnmong will again be discussed in the subchapter “Encyclopedic entries on the art of making tea”.

196 On the basis of this scene, Chŏng Kyubok sees clear narrative ties between Oksŏnmong and KUM. See: Chŏng, Kuunmong yŏn’gu, 263.

197 See for example: Chŏng, Kuunmong charyo chipsŏng 2, 378.

198 使滅燭而退, 就壁上 解下銀鞞玉珌小佩刀, 以手自裁, 嬌花斷魂. See: Im, Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 3, 263.

199 “Before, Ch’aeran had met Jiutian xuannü in a dream, and [Jiutian] xuannü had said: ‘You and the imperial son-in-law Chŏn have a karmic affinity and you are bound together by the red thread of conjugal harmony. Go quickly and surrender to him in order to enjoy the pleasures of riches and honors!’.” 先是, 綵籣夢遇九天玄女, 玄女曰: 你與錢駙馬有赤繩之緣, 從速歸化, 以享富貴之樂. See: ibid, 311. The role of the Daoist goddess Jiutian xuannü as a figure influencing the paths of figures in KUM hypertexts (especially in Kuun’gi) and other works of fiction will be taken up and discussed again at a later point.

200 “Mengyu taking the rebel Yong’s niece [as a wife] is a great violation of the rites and norms. He who has become the imperial son in law, how dare he take a concubine as he pleases? We ask you to lower Mongok’s position and rank, as well as to banish the daughter of Kuk […]”. 玉夢取龍賊之姪女, 大失禮貌, 且爲駙馬者安敢擅置妾, 御請貶夢玉之秩, 加鞠女竄配. See: Im, Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 3, 313.

201 The Queen Dowager especially opposes the mixture of status and rank which would go along with Yang being married to both a princess and the daughter of a simple minister. Thus, the thought that a princess cannot stand next to another woman is also stressed in KUM. See: Chŏng, Kuunmong charyo chipsŏng 2, 536–537.

202 See: Im, Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 3, 314.

203 After showing flowers at court, Lady Kye is called upon by the princess who listens to her story and eventually presents her to her husband Chŏn Mongok. The text says: “The princess smiled, and eventually she called the flower girl to come forth and present herself. The High Minister looked at her, but still did not recognize her. Lady Kye cried when she said: ‘Now that I see you again today, I can die without grief. […] Have you forgotten Kye Kyŏnghwa of Lihua Village?’” 翁主嫣然一笑, 遂呼花娘出而示之, 尙書泛眼一看, 未及省悟, 桂娘泫然流涕曰, 小女今日復見老爺尊範, 死無所恨 […] 老爺忘却梨花村桂瓊華. See: ibid, 315.

204 尚書大可驚悟曰, 娘子何以到此也 […] 小女一自梨花洞遭亂之後具男服, 被擄處於蓼洼賊之中數月, 而賊帥不知小女之爲女子 […] 使爲應門之僮, 故幸免強暴之辱矣, 何幸賊徒聚散無常, 一朝分潰, 故小兒始得脫出. See: ibid.

205 In Nanke taishou zhuan it says: “[…] I hope it will be an admonition to those young men who wish to steal their way into an office position. May later gentlemen take Southern Branch as an example of how chance works and not because of fame or position act in a haughty manner in this world!” In: Nienhauser, Tang Dynasty Tales, 157.

206 This sentence obviously echoes the famous butterfly parable from Zhuangzi. Yet there is also a direct predecessor for this sentence contained in KUM, for in the last scene, after Sŏngjin has come to his senses, it reads: “Your pupil is benighted and I cannot differentiate whether it is the dream which is not reality, or reality which is not a dream.” 弟子蒙暗不能辨夢非眞也眞非夢也. See: Chŏng, Kuunmong charyo chipsŏng 2, 681. Marion Eggert has pointed to the Chinese language pun contained in this sentence with regards to the protagonist’s name and the reality he speaks about. See: Eggert, Balance of Words, 69.

207 凭几而坐, 嗒然 […] 如中酒忘世間許多 […] 洞天乍低, 雲霧窈冥, 精神厭厭如井中之星, 搖搖如風外之烟, 若存若無, 忽 […] 窹一身宛在金剛佛前香卓之下, 黃冠草屩, 散在其旁, 依舊一破落户許巨通也, 觀其地則乃智異山靑鶴洞, 向來四十年分明事業, 都歸於一場幻境, 與邯鄲呂翁之枕槐, 于淳棼之夢一般, 虚慌事也, 不知巨通之夢爲夢玉耶, 夢玉之夢爲巨通耶, 百年營辱, 無非一場春夢也, 世間營營富貴利達者, 盍觀於此, 巨通因惑慨悲悵, 悟道出家, 不知所終云. See: Im, Han’guk hanmun sosŏl chŏnjip vol. 3, 324; Oksŏnmong vol. 2, 87.

208 Tong 洞 (Chinese: dong) is here translated as Grotto, because it here means dongtian 洞天 (Korean: tongch’ŏn), the Grotto-Heavens (as in dontian fudi 洞天福地, Grotto-Heavens and Blissful Lands), which are worlds believed to exist hidden within famous mountains and beautiful places. Dongtian are secluded, possibly underground utopias. The inhabitants of these earthly paradises do not suffer from floods, wars, epidemics, illness, old age or death. See: Pregadio, The Encyclopedia of Taoism, 368.

209 It also features in many other works of premodern Korean poetry and prose. For instance, there is Hwang Chullyang’s 黃俊良 (1517–1563) poem “Ch’ŏnghak tong” (contained in the first volume of Hwang Chullyang’s collected writings Kŭmkye chip 錦溪集), which he wrote during a trip through the Chirisan region in 1545.

210 This depiction of the rough path that leads to Ch’ŏnghak Grotto was clearly inspired by the description of the path that leads to the hidden land of Peach Blossom Spring in Taohuayuan ji. In the work by Tao Yuanming it reads: “He [the fisherman] went on for a way with the idea of finding out how far the grove extended. It came to an end at the foot of a mountain whence issued the spring that supplied the stream. There was a small opening in the mountain, and it seemed as though light was coming through it. The fisherman left his boat and entered the cave, which at first was extremely narrow, barely admitting his body; after a few dozen steps it suddenly opened out onto a broad and level plain where well-built houses were surrounded by rich fields and pretty ponds.” See: Minford and Lau, Classical Chinese Literature, 515.

211 Liu Ziji 劉子驥 is the person who appears at the end of Taohuayuan ji, who wants to venture out and find the abode of the immortals: “A high-minded gentleman of Nanyang named Liu Ziji heard the story and happily made preparations to go there, but before he could leave he fell sick and died. Since then there has been no one interested in trying to find such a place.” See: Minford and Lau, Classical Chinese Literature, 516.

212 古老相傳云, 其間有靑鶴洞, 路甚狹纔通人, 行俯伏經數里許, 乃得虛曠之境, 四隅皆良田沃壤, 唯靑鶴棲息其中, 故以名焉. 盖古之遁世者所居, 頹垣壤蹔猶在荊棘之墟 […] 盖讀其記未熟耳. 實與靑鶴洞無異, 安得有高尙之士如劉子驥者, 一往尋焉. See: Pak, P’ahan chip yŏkchu, 49.

213 Compare: Sanders, Adaptation and Appropriation, 25.

214 The issue of hypertextual reconfigurations as commentary on the hypotext will be discussed in more detail in the chapter “Kuullu/Kuun’gi as ‘criticism in action’”.