[KS] A US-Korean blueblood's flight of fancy

Lee JooBai jblee6952 at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 6 18:02:12 EDT 2006


I am inclined to think that Mr. Pore might be correct in his
speculations about what terms Professor Wagner might have
used.  I too found myself wondering what Professor Wagner's
personal views might have been about genealogies in general
and about Korean's relationship to their ancestors in particular,
and what role the genealogies played in his historical studies.

All I can add in this regard is an article I happend upon while
researching on Osan Academy.


The founder of the Academy is described by one historian as
"The First Modern Korean."  The reason for this honor was for
his self identification as a "commoner" and not with an eminent
ancestry, as the article explains.  There was also a religious dimension
to the new lineage he was to be identified with.

As the interview explains, the founder was also a close relative of
Prof. Yi Ki-Baek, who was himself a historian closely associated with
Prof. Wagner, and so I wonder if the list members more familiar with
Prof. Wagner could comment on this.

As to the abomination that the term "Blueblood" has become, I wonder
if the authors of literary works should not be afforded such liberties as to
what word he or she uses.

Yesterday, I had a belated look at the Korea Session of the 2006 AAS meeting 
San Francisco and I was struck by how Ms. Hong's article embodies and
explores the quintessential Korean experiences using the modern idiom:
voila! no transliterations, which I thought quite innovative.



June 6, 2006


Reading over the Osan founder's short biography, I could not help
wondering if he was not the inspiration for "Sang Do" and actually
much of the works coming out from Harvard historians seemed to have
been turned into popular historical dramas in Korea.  Was there some
relationship between the dramatists/producers  in Korea and Harvard
historians? I believe such a relationship would not be without precedent.)

>From: "will pore" <willpore at gmail.com>
>Reply-To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
>To: "Korean Studies Discussion List" <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
>Subject: Re: [KS] A US-Korean blueblood's wry lament
>Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 21:33:29 -0400
>Dear Jiyul,
>The Kyongju Kims, the Yohung Mins, the Chonju Yis, the Pungsan Chos,
>the Miryang Paks, probably even the Hongs to which the writer of the
>piece belonged and many other Korean families have long, distinguished
>and immensely interesting lineages. Those now very extensive families
>should be rightly proud to know of their connection to those lineages.
>I myself am extremely interested in the work that Edward Wagner did on
>Korean lineages. And, I think it is because of the work of scholars
>like him that it is possible to cringe at Ms. Hong's description of
>her family and her use of "bluebloods," a term I do not think
>Professor Wagner ever used in discussing the linages he studied.
>Gentry? Very likely. Patricians? Close.
>Of course, there are ascriptive bluebloods in America (First Families
>of Virginia, for example), but, I'm pretty sure they never seriously
>use that term in a serious discussion of their families' backgrounds.
>Will Pore
>On 5/29/06, Jiyul Kim <jiyulkim at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
>>Yes, a self-indulgent, wishful, and delusional twaddle it is. What
>>complete nonsense! Unfortunately she is publishing a novel this summer
>>(Simon & Shuster) along a similar vein.
>>Jiyul Kim, one of the millions who supposedly claim link to the blue
>>blood Kyongju Kim clan
>>will pore wrote:
>> > Dear List,
>> >
>> > Probably even the most broadminded of the American university
>> > undergraduates in the Korean History course I taught  last semester,
>> > who entered the course "cold," i.e. without any prior exposure to
>> > Korean langauge, history or culture (and I would certainly hope after
>> > taking the course) would have smirked at Ms. Hong's delusional twaddle
>> > about what she considers Korean "blue bloods." But, at least she
>> > didn't call them aristocrats!
>> >
>> > Will Pore
>> >
>> > On 5/28/06, *Afostercarter at aol.com <mailto:Afostercarter at aol.com>*
>> > <Afostercarter at aol.com <mailto:Afostercarter at aol.com>> wrote:
>> >
>> >     Colleagues may be interested in this from the Financial Times.
>> >     Apparently Ms Hong is a well-known journalist in the US.
>> >
>> >     Despite a shaky grasp of dates and a certain oddity of tone,
>> >     hers is an angle one doesn't see that often.
>> >
>> >     A wider issue is how far, at least in the US, the ranks of those
>> >     who pronounce on Korea include not only academics but also
>> >     novelists, autobiographers et al of this ilk. I wonder which kind
>> >     are, or will be, more influential in shaping public views of Korea?
>> >
>> >     cheers
>> >     Aidan
>> >
>> >     Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds
>> >     University
>> >     Home address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18
>> >     3BY, UK
>> >     tel: +44(0)  1274  588586         (alt) +44(0) 1264
>> >     737634          mobile:  +44(0)  7970  741307
>> >     fax: +44(0)  1274  773663         ISDN:   +44(0)   1274 589280
>> >     Email: afostercarter at aol.com <mailto:afostercarter at aol.com>
>> >     (alt) afostercarter at yahoo.com
>> >     <mailto:afostercarter at yahoo.com>      website: www.aidanfc.net
>> >     <http://www.aidanfc.net>
>> >     [Please use @aol; but if any problems, please try @yahoo too - and
>> >     let me know, so I can chide AOL]
>> >
>> >     _______________
>> >
>> >     http://news.ft.com/cms/s/d1b73802-ed1d-11da-a307-0000779e2340.html
>> >
>> >     Sat 27 May 2006

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