Baek-yeong Jeong Byung-wook (1922.4.22. ~ 1982.10.12.)
Born in Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do.
Nickname ‘Baek-yeong’ is known for the following the noble spirit depicted in the poem <White Shadow> by the poet Yun Dong-ju.
In 1966, he compiled 2,376 works of Sijo (traditional Korean poetic form), annotated them, and published <Dictionary of Sijo Literature> with commentary.
In 1972, he translated <The Cloud Dream of the Nine> and made significant contributions to the scholarly study of classical literature.
As a visiting professor at Harvard University in the United States and Collège de France in France, Jeong Byung-wook delivered lectures and presentations on Korean classical poetry and literature. He also contributed to the international promotion and dissemination of Korean literature by writing the entry on Korean literature for the Britannica Encyclopedia, participating in prestigious academic conferences in the United States, France, and Japan, and presenting research papers.
Notably, he founded a society for Pansori (Korean narrative singing) and organized several Pansori appreciation events in collaboration with Britannica, conducting extensive research on the concept, classification, techniques, and vocalization of Pansori and raising awareness of its value.
In 1940, Jeong Byung-wook became close friends with Yun Dong-ju (1917-1945) while they were staying together in a boarding house at Yonhee College.
When Yun Dong-ju graduated from Yonhee College in 1941, he attempted to publish his poetry collection <The Sky, the Wind, the Stars, and the Poem>, but it failed due to Japanese interference.
Yun Dong-ju, before leaving for Japan, personally made three copies of the manuscript, giving one to his teacher Lee Yang-ha (a professor at Yonhee College at the time) and another to Jeong Byung-wook, reflecting his deep affection for Jeong.
Subsequently, Jeong Byung-wook, who was conscripted as a student soldier in Japan, asked his mother to keep the manuscript safely.
His mother put the manuscript in a rice container hidden under the floor, and after Korea’s liberation in 1948, it was published, finally seeing the light of day.
Baek-yeong Jeong Byung-wook, the philologist who cared for Korean literature. Now it is your turn to complete what he had dreamed of for the better future!