A literary meandering into the mythology of place and what a novel can be, inspired by the author’s time spent at an artist residency in small-town Texas.
In his inimitable, recursive, meditative style that reads like a comedic zen koan but contains universes, Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River recounts Korean cult writer’s Jung Young Moon’s time spent at an artist’s and writers residency in small-town Texas. In an attempt to understand what a “true Texan should know,” the author reflects on his outsider experiences in this most unique of places, learning to two-step, musing on cowboy hats and cowboy churches, blending his observations with a meditative rumination on the history of Texas and the events that shaped the state, from the first settlers to Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald. All the while, the author is asking what a novel is and must be, while accompanied by a fictional cast of seven samurai who the author invents and carries with him, silent companions in a pantomime of existential theater. Jung blends fact with imagination, humor with reflection, and meaning with meaninglessness, as his meanderings become an absorbing, engaging, quintessential novel of ideas.