[KS] Fwd: Question regarding the French-translation of Chunhyang

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Tue Nov 5 10:01:23 EST 2013

Interesting posting, Brother Anthony. That other booklet by Rosmy you 
mention, _Les Coréens_, with its big print, seems to have had a wide 
circulation ... have seen it more often in European libraries and used 
book stores than any other pre-1945 book on Korea.

You identify the translator as Hong Chong-u, who worked at the Guimet 
Museum (wonderful collection on Korea!), and who later assassinated Kim 
Ok-kyun. I just wanted to add that there are a couple of other Koreans 
(but Hong must have been the first) who worked at European and American 
museums, mostly in ethnological museums. It will be a worthwhile 
project for any interested historian to follow such traces, I think. As 
the Hong Chong-u case shows, the slave work these Koreans did in 
"assisting" those Western researchers of the late 19th and earlier 20th 
century is in many cases by far not all they did. So, again thanks for 
bringing that up.

Anyway, the writing "Tjyoung Ou" you mention below, for Hong Chong-u 홍
종우, that reminds me of a person I am trying to identify. Maybe you or 
someone else here knows who this is, or has a suggestion of how to 
write the name in Han'gŭl (the combinations I tried did not get me 

Chul Ow
He was a student (maybe just German language, maybe some other field) 
in the northern German city of Hannover in the early 1910s (until at 
least 1914, maybe longer). 

Best wishes,

On Tue, 5 Nov 2013 22:57:11 +0900 (KST), Brother Anthony wrote:
> Louis Léon Prunol de Rosny (1837- 1914) was one of the earliest 
> French scholars to learn Japanese but he seems never to have been in 
> Japan. It is hard to understand the interest he whowed in Korea at so 
> early a period. In 1864 he published  Aperçu de la langue coréenne; 
> this was followed by Sur la géographie et l'histoire de la Corée 
> (1868) and finally by Les Coréens, aperçu ethnographique et 
> historique (1886). This latter is a short book of 90 pages of general 
> information about Korea, with no indication of his sources, although 
> he refers to Dallet and Oppert.
> See the French Wikipedia entry. There is a list of his works that are 
> available through the Internet Archive at 
> http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22L%C3%A9on+de+Rosny%22 
> The title page of the 1892 French edition of "Le Printempe Parfume" 
> translated by Rosmy can be viewed at 
> http://blog.daum.net/ysriver21/5588825 
> There is also an entry with pictures in the "Koreana Museum" (books 
> that have been sold by "Old Books" in Seoul) 
> http://www.book1950.co.kr/main.html?menu=view&uid=13&category=Literature   
> where you can read   "Paper back,140 pages. with 26 illustrations. 
> The book "Printemps parfume" was translated by Rosny and Mr Hong 
> Tjyoung Ou (Korean), who was living in France at that time. "
> Hong Jong-u is a remarkably interesting figure in his own right, best 
> known as the assassin of Kim Ok-kyun. See 
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Jong-u In the book Europe-Asie 
> Histoires de rencontres, Pierre Cambon of the Musee Guimet  indicates 
> that he met the artist Felix Regamey in Paris, and Regamey introduced 
> him to Emile Guimet who employed him from 1891 in the nascent museum, 
> where he was responsible for cataloguing the collection brought back 
> by Charles Varat (see 
> http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/Varat/CharlesVarat01.html or 
> http://hompi.sogang.ac.kr/anthony/Varat/VaratSection01English.html ). 
> He earned his living as he could, working with Rosny on Chunhyang but 
> also translating "Le bois sec refleuri" (the story of Simcheong,1895) 
> and "Le guide pour rendre propice l'etoile qui guide chaque homme . . 
> ." with Henri Chevalier. Hong returned to Seoul, occupied "high 
> office', withdrew on the rise of Japanese control and died in 1913.  
> All very interesting
> Brother Anthony

Frank Hoffmann

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