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The Power of the Brush: Epistolary Practices in Chosŏn Korea

By Hwisang Cho

Assistant Professor in the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures

The invention of an easily learned Korean alphabet in the mid-fifteenth century sparked an “epistolary revolution” in the following century as letter writing became an indispensable daily practice for elite men and women alike. The amount of correspondence increased exponentially as new epistolary networks were built among scholars and within families, and written culture created room for appropriation and subversion by those who joined epistolary practices.

Focusing on the ways that written culture interacts with philosophical, social, and political changes, The Power of the Brush examines the social effects of these changes and adds a Korean perspective to the evolving international discourse on the materiality of texts. 

Read the full description at the University of Washington Press. This book was published as part of the TOME initiative. 

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