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Selected publications by Yi Cheong-jun

Buckwheat tops the translation league table

As I’ve been logging the various publications during the construction of LKL’s K-lit hub, I’ve been keeping an eye on those stories which appear most often in English translation, whether in an anthology or a standalone publication. Charles Montgomery has always said that When the Buckwheat Blooms is the most published story, and I’ve yet … [Read More]

Where to start in Korean translated literature

Note: This article was written in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Since then, particularly in 2021, some fantastic translated fiction titles have appeared. We give a round-up of them here. Nevertheless, as of end December 2021 the top ten recommendations below still stand. I do, however, need to edit the choices for … [Read More]

A look back at some of the books of 2016

To cut to the chase, here are my two books of the year for 2016. For more detail, read on. Literature in translation The world of translated fiction seems to have been dominated by two names this year, one Korean and one British. The Korean name of course is Han Kang. Just as The Vegetarian … [Read More]

Deborah Smith wins Literary Translation award.

Han Kang says she’s “amazing”. Deborah Levy says she’s “obviously a genius”. And now, congratulations to Deborah Smith for winning The Arts Foundation Literary Translation Award 2016. According to the TLS blog, the award comes with a £10,000 bursary which Deborah plans to use “to fund research into the Korean author Yi Chong-jun” (Your Paradise, … [Read More]

Sorok Island joined to the mainland

Yi Chong-jun’s (이청준) novel on the subject is called Your Paradise. Looking at the beach above you see maybe one reason. But Sorok Island (소록도) is Korea’s best known leper colony. As Brother Anthony explains, in Yi’s book, the subject is the relation between the individual and the collective. The setting is the remote leper … [Read More]

Im Kwon-taek reaches 100

With the nationwide release of Beyond the Years (천년학, aka Thousand Year Crane) in Korea today, Im Kwon-taek reaches an amazing milestone: his 100th film. And it’s supposedly his first love story, according to the Chosun – though it has to be said that devoted lovers have appeared in his earlier work – for example … [Read More]

Yi Chong-jun: Your paradise

(Green Integer, 2004) Translated by Jennifer Lee, Timothy R. Tangherlini Originally published as 당신들의 천국, Seoul, 1976 A puzzling story about the struggles of successive managers of a leper colony to improve the lot of the lepers. I think the Complete Review shares my puzzlement. One of the best-selling novels of 20th Century Korean literature, … [Read More]