The Buddhist Dream Tale
Past and Present
Francisca Cho, Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Georgetown University
Moderated by Seong Uk Kim, Il Hwan and Soonja Cho Assistant Professor of Korean Culture and Religion, Columbia University
Tuesday, March 22, 2022
5:00 PM ET
Co-sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute
Kim Manjung’s Kuunmong, or Dream of the Nine Clouds, was written by a scholar-official and he turned to the Buddhist trope that “life is nothing but a dream” in order to express his doubts and disappointment about the Confucian social structure in which he lived. The speaker argues that the dream tale turns the act of fiction writing into a Buddhist philosophical exercise, and she will draw out this argument by considering how the medium of fiction functions in a ritual way. In this vein, she brings the dream tale into the present by considering the experience of cinema as an analogue.