[KS] formal question (which version of Chinese characters?)
hoffmann at koreanstudies.com
Thu May 28 17:18:41 EDT 2015
Dear Marion, dear Professor Deuchler:
Just to say this much:
I think none of us discussing the issue did make a really *strong*
"for" or "against" point. I myself have thus far always used
traditional characters (except for bibliographic references, where I
followed the original). And the very reason I posted my question was
that I see a large variety, diverse ways of how this issue is being
handled, and so I felt I wanted to better understand what the reasons
are everyone has for how to deal with this, and if there is possibly
some general agreement on the best STRATEGY of how, most sensibly and
smoothly deal with this -- I say it again -- dilemma.
It continues to be a dilemma, and dilemmas cannot be "solved" -- they
can just strategically be dealt with. Nobody said this or that solution
is the "right" one. That is agreed.
However, some arguments seem certainly to make more sense than others,
AT LEAST if isolated. That issue of isolation is always important in
cases of dilemma situations. In this case one can easily come up with a
whole set of arguments that would overwrite such isolated logical
approaches -- you can look at the political situation and/or
technical/formal issues such as the standardization of bibliographic
forms that libraries and publishers and universities may want to
follow in order to make things simple and workable. These arguments
may well be considered to have more weight that singular, isolated
logical arguments. So, that is then an issue of OUR institutional and
administrative and also technical politics and dealing with the
cultural (and well, not just "cultural") politics of other nations.
Obviously, we had the same issue with the transcription system.
For me, if I look at Andrew's argument that was cited several times "in
isolation," then that makes more sense than the one of "Chinese scripts
system is a universal one" (if you allow me to summarize it this way).
It once had been one, but it is no more an universal one. And I cannot
understand why, as Professor Deuchler argues, we need to emphasize that
("important to remember") for Korea. Korea is obviously at dropping
Chinese characters all together. And other East Asian nations have
developed their own versions of that ancient picture communication
system. So ... if I JUST look at Andrew's argument in isolation, then
that is sure what does convince me as the politically most apt and
contemporary smooth solution, one that pays attention to regional and
historic differences. Yet, there are other issues to look at also, as I
mentioned, and so I would say "everything goes" and good points can be
made for whatever solution one prefers.
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