Yi Kwang-su (이광수)

A look back at the books and literary events of the year – and a summary of my reading diary. Literature in translation In translated fiction, my reading this year has not managed anywhere near to keep pace with the amount of translations being published. I know I said the same in respect of 2017 […]

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Brief review: Kim Ki-young – The Soil

by Philip Gowman 2 April 2018
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I’m not sure quite how to assess Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s 500-page serial novel The Soil (흙, 1932-3). At 125 minutes, it doesn’t sound particularly long. But as we got up from our seats at the KCC last Thursday at around 9:15pm, it felt much later – maybe around 10:30pm. And that wasn’t […]

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Book review: Yi Kwang-su — The Soil

by Philip Gowman 26 March 2018
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Yi Kwang-su: The Soil Translated by Hwang Sun-ae and Horace Jeffery Hodges Dalkey Archive, 2013, 512pp Originally published as 흙, 1932-3 Yi Kwang-su’s The Soil, at over 500 pages long, is not a book that immediately entices you to read it. But with a screening of Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of the novel coming up shortly […]

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Screening: Kim Ki-young’s The Soil

by Events Editor 8 March 2018
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This year the KCC’s first film screenings are adaptations of Korean novels. We start the season with Kim Ki-young’s adaptation of Yi Kwang-su’s 1932 novel 흙, variously known as The Soil, Earth or Peasants. Kim Ki-young: The Soil (흙 – 1978) Cast: Lee Hwa-si, Kim Jeong-cheol, Yeom Bok-soon, Nam Sung-hoon Thu 29 March 2018, 19:00 […]

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Festival film review: Bae Chang-ho’s The Dream

by Philip Gowman 27 November 2017
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Bae Chang-ho’s The Dream is based on a story from the Samguk Yusa, a story that Yi Kwang-su worked up into a short novel. Although the tale is set in the late Silla dynasty, its message is timeless. The story starts with a weary and impoverished traveller (played by Ahn Sung-ki) trudging through the snow […]

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2017 Korean Literature Nights

by Events Editor 11 February 2017
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The KCC’s first Korean Literature Night of 2017 features another of Hwang Sun-mi’s short novels. And this year, the nights don’t clash with the film screenings. 2017 Korean Literature Nights The Korean Literature Night (KLN) is a monthly discussion group, held on the last Wednesday evening of the month (apart from the first meeting), that […]

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Book review: Modern Korean Literature — An Anthology 1908-65

by Philip Gowman 21 November 2012
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Modern Korean Literature: An Anthology 1908-1965 Edited by Chung Chong-wha Routledge / Kegan Paul International, 1995, 467pp If you are looking to sample Korean literature in translation, the chances are that you’ll find more short stories than full length novels. This collection, though not universally enjoyable, is extremely useful in giving an overview of the […]

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Korean authors by an English painter

by Philip Gowman 24 May 2012
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British artist Billy Childish exhibits portraits of two celebrated Korean authors (Yi Kwang-su and Yi Sang) in his Seoul show entitled Strange Bravery at Gallery Hyundai in Jongno, Seoul, till 3 June. http://bit.ly/JdjPZR Keywords: Authors: Yi Kwang-su (이광수) | Yi Sang (이상 or 김해경)

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Popular Gusts on Yi Kwang-su

by Philip Gowman 6 August 2010
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Yi Kwang-su's Japanese nationalism: another must-read article from Matt at Popular Gusts — on Yi’s change from Korean nationalist to servant of the Japanese. http://bit.ly/cjAv2m # Keywords: Authors: Yi Kwang-su (이광수)

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Michael Shin on Yi Kwang-su’s The Heartless

by Events Editor 29 August 2009
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The third Global Korea lecture of 2009 will be held at the KCC on 29 September at 6:30pm. Michael Shin from Cambridge University will talk on Yi Gwangu’s The Heartless, sometimes known as Korea’s first modern novel. There will be a raffle to win the novel in an English translation. The novel The Heartless by […]

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