[KS] Early French publications of Korean texts

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Wed Dec 3 00:21:14 EST 2014

As for Henri Chevalier, he was the French consul to Korea, and did a 
number of publications and translations that relate to Korea. Another 
amazing partial translation he did is the one on the construction of 
Hwasŏng Fortress in Suwŏn: of the _Hwasŏng sŏngyŏk ŭigwe 華城城役儀軌_ 
(Records of the construction of Hwaseong Fortress, 1800). That is the 
most outstanding work on and of Chosŏn period fortresses and military 
architecture. That translation is amazing in the sense that Chevalier 
worked on such a topic -- he was decades ahead of his time in doing so! 
==> https://archive.org/details/tungpaotoungpao09corduoft
    (pp. 384-396)
There are plenty of good publications on this work by now, in Korean 
and other languages. But if you read German, and I am sure you all do 
without exception, there is a detailed, over 700 pages long doctoral 
thesis about Hwasŏng Fortress and the _Hwasŏng sŏngyŏk ŭigwe_ by Doo 
Won Cho from 2011, accessible online at:
I did not know that article by on Chevalier Korean hats. THANKS for 
that. Traditional hats are indeed one of the most favorite themes in 
the writings of Westerns visiting Korea around 1900. We should 
understand in direct connection to the European tradition of "lexical 
knowledge" and "antiquarianism" -- that concept, after all, still 
informed German and French East Asian studies until even after WWII. 
The knowledge about Asia was relentlessly copied and reproduced across 
national borders, and from time to time someone added a sentence or 
two. And those "Korean hats" as a theme are really a wonderful example 
for how knowledge was gathered and reproduced in those days. You could 
create a sort of textual map (or knowledge map, however you want to 
call it) ... where you list the sources and a summary of the actual 
content of each publications, and will find that this can just seen as 
a pool of knowledge, where you will easily be able to see what parts of 
each text were copies were. You could actually use one of those new 
software programs that check PhD dissertations for unmarked (stolen) 
quotes, and you'll then see that all those texts overlap a lot. That 
even applies for first-hand travel accounts -- both for text and images!


Frank Hoffmann

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