Translated by: Amber Hyun Jung Kim
Publisher: Dalkey Archive, 2014.
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Park Min-gyu has been celebrated and condemned for his attacks upon what he perceives as the humorlessness of contemporary Korean literature. Pavane for a Dead Princess is his attack upon the beauty-fetish that reigns over popular culture, detailing the relationship between a man with matinee-idol good looks and “the ugliest woman of the century.” To complicate matters further, Park also includes a so-called “writer’s cut” of the same story, offering alternate versions of the facts, giving the reader the opportunity to imagine all the different ways this same novel might have been written.
This is a beautiful book only slightly marred by the occasional over-long and rambling monologue which a sensitive editor should have asked to be trimmed. If you get past the first 18 pages, you’ll be in for a rewarding read.
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