Friday, December 02, 2005

What's a 대하소설(big river novel)?

A 대하소설(大河小說) is a saga novel or roman-fleuve, which chronicles the history of several generations of a family, community, or other group and often presents an overall view of society during a particular epoch. It is often presented in many volumes. (I got that from a dictionary, by the way.)

For some reason, the 대하소설 is very popular in Korea, as are 대하드라마, but I have never read one because I had always assumed it would take me a lifetime to finish one since they are sometimes ten to fifteen volumes long. A few examples are "삼국지" (10 volumes), "토지" (21 volumes), and "태백산맥" (10 volumes). Today on the Internet, however, I find a three volume set that tells the story of prostitutes (윤락녀, 매춘부, 양공주, 똥갈보, 똥치, 사창가, 창녀, 등). I found the first volume of the set online. It is entitled, "꺽지: 이브의 계곡." By the way, a 꺽지 is a kind of freshwater fish. I do not know yet if it is slang for something else.

I am thinking about reading 꺽지: 이브의 계곡 for three reasons. First, it is free. Second, I think there will be a lot of interesting slang in it. Third, I think it might be interesting to read about the life of Korean prostitutes. If I do start reading it, I will make a list of any slang I come across and post it here. I will start with the word 쪽방, which is used among thieves to refer to "a prostitute's room."

Slang from 꺽지: 이브의 계곡
  • 쪽방 a prostitute's room (slang among thieves)


  1. Out of curiousity, when was "꺽지: 이브의 계곡" written?


  2. Hi Jennifer,

    I think "꺽지: 이브의 계곡" was written in 2001, based on information from this site. I do not know if the other two volumes were published at the same time or later. If I find any more information, I will post it.

  3. Not that it's a big issue, but I think you meant "양공*주*"


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.