A Confucian Autobiography of Tasan Chŏng Yagyong

Selected Poems, 1776-1836


Editor / Translator:
Chŏng Yagyong (1762-1836), or simply Tasan, is a prolific poet and one of the most brilliant minds in Korean history but remains unknown as a person.This book introduces his life through his own auto-biographical poems translated into English for the first time.
Here we find him struggling between love of learning and exam hell, between aristocratic pride and economic hardship, between Catholic sympathies and Confucian heritage, and finally between two women.
Astonishingly open about himself for his time and class, this vivid portrait of his is a triumph of self-expression the likes of which we have not seen in premodern Korean literature.

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Wodi Hongjinwhi is an independent scholar based in Korea. A graduate of Harvard College (BA in History) and the University of Oxford (MSt in Modern History), he spent ten years in the PhD program of History and East Asian Languages at Harvard. He is working on a biography of Tasan Chŏng Yagyong from the first-person point of view.
Scholars in Korean Studies (premodern literature and/or history), Chinese Literature or Comparative Literature in Asian Studies,
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