Translated by: Gloria Cosgrove Smith, Park Youngsuk
Publisher: Dalkey Archive, 2016.
Link to online store *
Evening Proposal is a collection of eight stories about the grim and often faceless nature of urban life. Faintly reminiscent of Franz Kafka, the stories range from a man who discovers that his job performance has no significance while taking refuge in taking care of an abandoned rabbit to a man who finally expresses his love to discover that his expression frightened him more than his fear in anticipating the event. Evening Proposal reissues the warning that the orderliness and system that civilization created in order to confront nature’s chaos is in fact “the hell of monotony.”
These tales are humorous, sometimes dark, takes on the monotony and greyness of everyday life, particularly for the cogs in the machinery of Korea’s economy. The stories share a theme of entrapment: office workers trapped in pointless jobs, trapped by their own actions or simply trapped by life. All in all, this is a collection which is perfect entertainment on your monotonous commute to your grey, repetitive office job.
* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or Bookshop.org for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to Bookshop.org and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.