Description

Sookja Cho offers the first-ever English translation of the pre-modern classic.

Despite being “the best-selling fictional narrative during the late Chosŏn period” (1392-1910) of pre-modern Korea, little is known about the provenance of The Tale of Cho Ung. The author remains unknown and its initial composition has been narrowed down to a 200-plus-year-window, with a guesstimate falling somewhere between the late-18th to early 19th centuries. Its efficacy as immersive fiction, however, has historical documentation: originally popularized by professional storytellers reciting in public spaces, the heroic escapades of the eponymous Cho Ung – filial son, loyal advisor, honorable leader, unparalleled warrior – could be so intense as to incite an enthralled listener to attack the storyteller amidst an especially fierce scene.