Lady Hyegyong's memoirs, which recount the chilling murder of her husband by his father, is one of the best known and most popular classics of Korean litera. Lady Hyegyong's memoirs, which recount the chilling murder of herhusband by his father, form one of the best known and most popularclassics of Korean litera. JaHyun Kim Haboush, "The Texts of the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyòng: The Problem bestthing.info ppdf.
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The memoirs of Lady Hyegyŏng: the autobiographical writings of a Crown Princess of eighteenth-century Korea / translated with an introduction and annotations. Editorial Reviews. Language Notes. Text: English (translation) Original Language: Korean bestthing.info: The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong: The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea eBook: Jahyun Kim. Lady Hyegyong's memoirs, which recount the chilling murder of her husband by his father, is one of the best known and most popular classics of Korean.
The narration in the letter is akin 12 Epistolary Korea, p. The content of female narratives must also be discussed at length. This is especially clear in memoir of , her final memoir, in which she finally addresses the matter of paternal filicide.
This arguably distanced women who were kept usually out of the public eye. As previously mentioned, for women, letters could act as an escape from the confines of of their restricted lives. Letters were personal and their narratives were safe spaces away from male dominated realms.
I would argue that this cathartic freedom, in some part can be attributed to the use and choice of script when writing. Most of the letters women wrote were in hangul and this allowed their writings to have a level of accessibility to them which was missing from the classical Chinese which was so strongly guarded by male intellects.
Furthermore, the accessibility of this text increases drastically. The Memoir of emphasizes the love and dedication both Lady Hyegyong and her father had for the royal family, especially pertaining to Sado and Jeongjo.
The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong
By stressing these personal relationships, Lady Hyegyong asserts her and her father's loyalty in order to defend their reaction to Sado's execution. Throughout the memoir, Lady Hyegyong highlights her and her family's dedication to serving her son. It is through this argument she explains her and her father's decision to live and stay at court in order to serve Jeongjo as well as protect the dynastic line. Format of The Memoir of [ edit ] Lady Hyegyong's second memoir, The Memoir of , was written in protest the execution of her brother on false charges of converting to Catholicism as well as her uncle's execution due to accusations of disloyalty against Jeongjo's regency.
Not only did she write her memorial in Korean, but she also transformed a political tool by choosing to personally address a King over a personal grievance. Lady Hyegyong attributes a great deal of her and her family's suffering at the Joson Court to be due to factionalism, mainly at the hands of one Madam Jeong. Even before the events detailed in The Memoir of , King Yeongjo had attempted to implement anti-factionalism at court.
Despite his own intentions, King Yeongjo's favoritism towards Madam Jeong since a young age allowed her and her family to amass a great deal of influence. A large part of The Memoir of 's content was dedicated to Lady Hyegyong exposing to the public the various attempts by Madam Jeong to manipulate court factions against the Hong family. At the height of Madam Jeong's power, Lady Hyegyong asserts that she had enough influence over Jeongjo to prevent him from even becoming intimate with his wife.
Lady Hyegyong wrote her third memoir after Jeongjo's sudden death. Addressed to her grandson King Sunjo, Lady Hyegyong uses the memoir to introduce Jeongo's plan to restore honor both to Sado and the Hong family, which he had died before implementing.
By stressing Jeongjo's filiality to his father, she implies that Sunjo should show the same filiality to Jeongjo by completing what Jeongjo had left unfinished.
Lady Hyegyong uses her memoir to offer a very personal view of Jeongjo as a filial son dedicated not only to his family but also who championed against factionalism and corruption. In fact, Lady Hyegyong claims that the fact the Jeongjo realized her father's innocent nature and regretted his earlier actions proved his intelligence. Format of the Memoir of [ edit ] The Memoir of offers a personal account of her husband, Crown Prince Sado, describing his eventual madness and execution.
Sado's execution was ordered due to gross accusations of misconduct, including the unprovoked physical abuse, rape, and murder of servants. However, due to a memorial sent to King Yeongjo by Jeongjo, the sections of the Records of the Royal Secretariat detailing to Sado's actions and execution were destroyed.
In fact, her idea of being extraordinary was not to depart from but to adhere to and excel by the norm.
One of the more obvious differences lay in the way they perceived the relationship between their private and public selves. Margaret Cavendish may sometimes express her sense of self through her relationship to other people around her, but there is no question that she regards her private self as distinct from and prior to her public self.
In both, the private self is given a certain autonomy and space apart from the public self.
She acknowledges the distinction between the private and public selves but feels that the redemption of her public self is indispensable to the integrity of her private self.
She is convinced that only by feeling and confessing the acuteness of her shame, the degree of which should be proportional to the distance she has fallen from the ideal, can she be redeemed. She tries to atone for the failings of her public self by the intensity of the remorse of her private self, and in this way the interdependence between the two selves becomes complete.
For Sado, she merely replaces remorse with suffering. That is, she pleads for understanding of his public misconduct on the basis of the depth of his private suffering. When these four memoirs were compiled into a composite work during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, compilers and editors did not respect the individual pieces; they split individual memoirs and rearranged them into a chronological account.
However, once we acknowledge that the four memoirs were separate pieces written in different genres, the task of defining these genres becomes much clearer. Not having a ready-made form available to her, she appropriated for each memoir a genre that had hitherto been used almost exclusively by men. As the subjects of the memoirs move from the personal to the public, so do the genres in which the memoirs are written. The first memoir, addressed to the heir of her natal family, takes the form of a family injunction.
The remaining three memoirs, adjusted to a royal reader, are in properly and progressively more public genres. The second memoir is in the form of a memorial, the third a biography, and the fourth a historiography. In Korea, family injunctions tended to be purely instructional, brief, and written in an impersonal voice.
Although it contains advice and exhortations to the younger generation, its main body is a self-narration followed by a postscript devoted to short family remembrances. This is the only piece among the four that is in accord with the principle that Lejeune calls the autobiographical pact, in which the writer, the narrator, and the protagonist are the same person. One is struck by a pointedly defensive tone in her presentation of self and other members of her family.
It is the defensiveness of someone who feels that she has been deeply compromised by some terrible event and believes that she must assert her innocence. Indeed, in the eyes of the world, this was the case. Inevitably, stinging attacks ensued on the moral character of its members, especially Hong Ponghan. Her writing should be understood in this context.
That her marriage was not in the least at her own initiative did not diminish the deep sense of guilt that pervades her first memoir. More to the point, she wrote the memoir as a rebuttal to decades of implicit and explicit accusations made against her family.
Thus she persistently stresses the moral integrity of each of her subjects—how virtuous each was, and how, placed repeatedly at moral crossroads, each chose unfailingly the alternative that fulfilled the most public of his or her duties. However unusual in form, The Memoir of is in spirit a genuine family injunction. By refuting criticisms and charges made against herself and her family, she wishes more than anything else to reestablish their moral legitimacy so that younger generations will reclaim the honorable family tradition.
The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong
She is fully aware that moral integrity is an elusive thing, subject to different views and interpretations. In this sense, she is clearly seizing narratives of self and family in order to control destiny, turning what is usually an impersonal form into a self-narration and family chronicle with which to restore family honor and integrity. These persecutions would continue for the rest of the nineteenth century.
Still reeling from the grief of losing her son and the shock of seeing her brother executed, she reveals herself at her bitterest and most emotional as she defends not only her brother but also Hong Inhan, her paternal uncle, whose execution in had signaled the decline of the Hong family.
The Memoir of had been written for the king and was prompted by a profound sense of outrage. Hence, it is not strange that its form resembles a memorial. Although most memorials to the throne discussed matters of a public nature, there was a category reserved for those who felt aggrieved about something concerning themselves or persons close to them such as family members or mentors.
These memorials tended to be narratives in which the authors refuted unfavorable accounts by presenting contrary evidence and displaying appropriate emotions. He was provoked by a memorial criticizing Hong Ponghan, who was long since dead. There are many memorials of this type, and they perhaps should be studied as such. The privilege of sending a memorial to the throne was open to educated men who were deemed qualified to participate in public discourse conducted in literary Chinese.
Availing herself of her position as the grandmother of the king, she appropriates this genre and uses it for testimony in Korean. She makes these assertions by presenting as much evidence as possible with commensurate moral outrage.
The Memoir of , written a year later, is much more sober. Yet he died before he could enact his plan. Moreover, it is written by the mother of this filial son and addressed to his son, upon whom filiality presumably weighed just as heavily.
The Memoir of presents the incident of Prince Sado. However, historiography as practiced in Korea was written according to well-defined conventions. The first violation of historiographical convention is its emphasis on the personal.
The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea
The second violation of convention is the mode of narration. Not only does she narrate in the first person, but she eschews the customary indirection in describing the failings of the king and the royal family.
One senses her belief that the only redemption for them and the other players involved lies in her portrayal of them in their full human complexity and imperfection, causing and enduring pain.
This offers the psychological insight so rarely found in historical documents. The third violation concerns the source. But as soon as the narration enters the period when she was present, she relies almost exclusively on her own memory and observation.
This action might not be possible to undo.
Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong: Summary Lady Hyegyong's memoirs, which recount the chilling murder of her husband by his father, form one of the best known and most popular classics of Korean literature.
Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. University of California Press Released: Sep 14, ISBN: Includes bibliographical references and index.In studies of Western autobiography, it has been posited that a sense of the discrete self, a consciousness of self as an isolated being, is a precondition for writing autobiography.
This project was very long in the making, and I have benefited immensely from the comments, criticisms, and suggestions of my friends and colleagues.
There are many memorials of this type, and they perhaps should be studied as such. Neither Korea nor history looked the same as a result. The partisan operations constitute a small but important part of the history of the Korean War. Lady Hyegyong wrote her third memoir after Jeongjo's sudden death.
One might conclude that the entire operation was "futile and callous.
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