A Yang for Every Yin: Dramatizations of Korean Classics
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236pp. September 2011
A Yang for Every Yin: Dramatizations of Korean Classics
Author: Holstein, John;
The author has adapted a few of Korea’s favorite traditional stories to the stage, with songs and extensive historical and cultural notes, for a modern audience. These plays are based on stories from Korea in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they are still being told in the 21st century, in their original pansori venue but also on TV, stage, and film. While the Joseon Dynasty was closed off to the rest of the world, it was developing a world-class literature. Four of the five plays in this book are dramatizations of pansori, one of old Korea’s most highly developed performance arts; you may already have heard about Chun Hyang, Hungbu and his brother Nolbu, Hare and the Sea Palace, or Ong Go-jip. The other play is based on the popular short story “Grandpa’s Wen.” All of these stories were passed down orally through many generations, developing all along in complexity and sophistication, until the 18th and 19th centuries, when they were set down in written form. Confucians wrote moral lessons into the stories, but loyalty, honesty, modesty and generosity are basics in any system of values.

Distributed for Seoul Selection
Author: Holstein, John;
John Holstein has lived in Korea since 1967, translating Korean literature, teaching and writing. He’s been at Sungkyunkwan University, on the faculty of its English Department, since 1982.



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