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Integration Processes in the Circulation of Knowledge

Cases from Korea

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Edited By Marion Eggert and Florian Pölking

Korea, geographically situated at cultural crossroads, has a long history of creative engagement with knowledge from outside sources. This volume discusses processes of knowledge integration – of interpretive adaptation, dissection, selection and re-assemblage, of reduction and amplification, as well as of blending with existing cognitive structures – in pre-modern and early modern times. The articles assembled deal with a wide range of sources (including material objects as carriers of knowledge) and with diverse fields of knowledge, spanning the realms of philosophy, religion, literature, military and technical knowledge, and political thought. Together, they richly illustrate the transformative powers inherent in re-configurations of knowledge.
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Barbara Wall - Literary knowledge reflected in Korean intertexts of Xiyouji (西遊記, “The Journey to the West”)

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Barbara Wall

Literary knowledge reflected in Korean intertexts of Xiyouji (西遊記, “The Journey to the West”)

Abstract This paper approaches Korean intertexts of Xiyouji from the 14th to 20th century as visualisations of reading processes. Based on reception aesthetics and cognitive poetics, I seek to illuminate what parts of the Xiyouji story were received and how these parts, as “new knowledge,” interacted with the Korean readers’ existing literary knowledge.

1 Introduction

The title of this study provokes at least two questions: What is literary knowledge? And how is literary knowledge reflected in intertexts of Xiyouji 西遊記?

As James A. Banks refers to knowledge in general as the way a person explains or interprets reality1, I am using literary knowledge to mean the way a reader interprets literary texts, constructs meaning, or detects specific information in a literary text.2 Thus, in comparison to other kinds of knowledge, literary knowledge is characterised by a high level of flexibility. In contrast, for example, to medical knowledge literary knowledge is not bound to rigid facts and is not restricted to a special field, but is rather based on interests, prior (reading) experience, worldviews, opinions, imagination etc..

How is literary knowledge reflected in intertexts of Xiyouji? In order to tackle this question, I will have to make a short excursus to reception aesthetics and cognitive poetics. According to Wolfang Iser’s reception theory, a literary work consists of two poles: the author’s text...

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