Yi Mun-yol (이문열)

A good interview with Yi Mun-yol in the Korea JoongAng Daily. A couple of quotes. On recovering from an operation to remove a kidney cancer: It would be so unfortunate to not be able to drink for the rest of my life. I remember how he enjoyed a drink at the London Book Fair… A […]

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A week-long programme of films based on Korean novels at SOAS

by Events Editor 6 April 2015
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April is the month of the London Book Fair (14-16 April at Olympia). Last year Korea was the market focus, an honour assumed by Mexico this year. But the Korea Publishers Association, LTI Korea and other bodies will be attending to fly the flag for Korea. To remind us of the fun we had last […]

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LBF sketch: Yi Mun-yol on fable and allegory in his work

by Philip Gowman 10 May 2014
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Yi Mun-yol spoke at three London Book Fair events: on Korean Literature Past and Present at the British Library on 8 April; on Allegory and the Literary Imagination on 9 April; and in conversation with Claire Armitstead on 10 April. The below is a digest of those appearances. Grace Koh: Yi Mun-yol’s debut was Son […]

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LTI Korea video: Yi Mun-yol in conversation with Claire Armitstead

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2014
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Here is LTI Korea’s video of Yi Mun-yol in conversation with The Guardian‘s Claire Armitstead at the English PEN Literary Salon, Earls Court on the last day of the London Book Fair 2014, 10 April 2014: Links: LTI Korea website | YouTube channel Keywords: Authors: Yi Mun-yol (이문열) Event tags: LBF Korea Other tags: LBF […]

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London Book Fair, day 3 – looking forward, looking back

by Philip Gowman 11 April 2014
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The London Book Fair is over now, but the collaboration with Korea continues, for which a huge thank-you is due to the British Council and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea. One thing I forgot to mention yesterday is that Britain (or was it the UK?) is invited as guest country at the Seoul Book […]

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London Book Fair, day 2

by Philip Gowman 10 April 2014
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Day 2 of the London Book Fair, in which: Han Kang said very nice things about her translator (Deborah Smith) and Shin Kyung-sook called hers her “twin soul”; We discovered that Kim Young-ha was about to start writing a historical novel set in the Joseon dynasty, only to find out that Kim Insuk had already […]

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LBF event, 8 Apr 6:30pm: Korean Literature Past and Present, with Yi Mun-yol

by Events Editor 28 February 2014
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The second of six evening events during London Book Fair week, which unfortunately overlaps with a session with Yoon Tae-ho at the KCC Korean Literature: Past and Present 8 April, 18.30-20.00 A rare opportunity to learn about the story of Korean literature, from beautiful early printed books, many housed in the British Library, to the […]

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LBF event 11 Mar: Books on Screen — Portrait of the Days of Youth

by Events Editor 28 February 2014
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The second of the KCC’s Korean Literature on Screen events. The Yi Mun-yol story on which it is based is not yet available in translation. As usual, pre-registration is required via the KCC website. Portrait of the Days of Youth 젊은날의 초상, Kwak Ji-kyoon, 1990 11 March 7pm, KCCUK Running time 148 minutes A university […]

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Korean Literature Nights: the programme for the year

by Events Editor 19 February 2014
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The schedule for the literature nights at the KCC this year has been announced. The first one booked out within minutes. Booking for Your Republic is Calling You is now open. Date Author Book 26 Feb Shin Kyung-Sook Please Look after Mother (LKL Review) 26 Mar Kim Young-Ha Your Republic is Calling you (LKL Review) […]

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The Korean Novels on Screen Programme at the KCC

by Events Editor 17 February 2014
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The KCC, in conjunction with the British Council, has announced its programme of films inspired by Korean literature. Two and a half of the films have their original stories available in English translation. The ones available in English are The Road to Sampo and Leafie. The half-film is The Scarlet Letter, which is based both […]

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Im Kwon-Taek’s Village in the Mist — affairs on an Anonymous Island

by Philip Gowman 29 October 2012
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Han Su-ok, a young schoolteacher, arrives in an isolated mountain village to take up her first job in an elementary school. As she gets off the bus, the village initially seems deserted, like a ghost town, hemmed in by the high forbidding walls of the surrounding mountains like a prison. You wonder what sort of […]

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Book review: Yi Mun-yol — Our Twisted Hero

by Philip Gowman 19 October 2012
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Yi Mun-yol: Our Twisted Hero Originally published 1987 Translated by Kevin O’Rourke Available on Kindle (Minumsa, 2012) or hard copy (Hyperion Books, 2001) Moving to the provinces from a school in Seoul in which the social hierarchy was one he had lived with all his life, our twelve-year-old hero Han Pyongt’ae is faced with a […]

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Heinz Insu Fenkl interview

by Philip Gowman 16 September 2011
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The New Yorker talks to Heinz Insu Fenkl, translator of Yi Mun-yol’s short story An Anonymous Island nyr.kr/n1i5eR Keywords: Authors: Yi Mun-yol (이문열)

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A Yi Mun-yol short story in the New Yorker

by Philip Gowman 7 September 2011
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A Yi Mun-yol short story (An Anonymous Island) is published in The New Yorker — a first! wp.me/p1mFzB-cJ. Via @subjobjverb Keywords: Authors: Yi Mun-yol (이문열) Event tags: LBF Korea

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Yi Mun-yol: the Poet

by Philip Gowman 17 February 2006
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Yi Mun-yol: The Poet Translated by Chong-wha Chung and Brother Anthony of Taizé (First published in Korea in 1992. This edition, Harvill 1995) A novel based on the life of a 19th century poet, Kim Sakkat, exploring his development as an artist against the backdrop of the insurrection by Hong Kyong-rae in the north-west. I […]

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The Last Empress: spectacular but unsatisfying

by Philip Gowman 16 February 2002
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The Last Empress is an original Korean musical in the style of a traditional Broadway production, and is based on the life story of Queen Min, the last Empress of the Joseon Dynasty, who was murdered by Japanese assassins in 1895. Undoubtedly patriotic in its theme, it capitalises on the popularity of the musical in […]

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