This revised, expanded anthology, compiled and edited by pioneering scholar and translator Peter H. Lee, offers a representative selection of traditional Korean literature. Its rich and diverse selections, covering all genres and forms written in classical (literary) Chinese and the vernacular Korean language, were chosen for both their literary merit and socio-historical engagement with their times. Divided into four parts-verse, prose, fiction, and oral literature-representing the four major branches of traditional Korean literature, it includes previously undervalued or suppressed texts such as Koryo love lyrics, shamanist narrative songs, and p'ansori-creations composed in the mind, retained in memory, sung to audiences, and heard, not read. Every effort has been made to render Korea's literary past credibly and meaningfully.
With its fresh translations and new examples of oral literature and fiction, this comprehensive, one-volume anthology will provide students and general readers with the means to gain a deep appreciation of Korean literature and its interconnections with other East Asian literatures.