London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Hwang Sok-yong: The Guest

(Seven Stories, 2005) Translated by Chun Kyung-ja and Maya West Originally published as 손님, Seoul 2001 The Guest of the title is an unwelcome foreigner: originally applied to smallpox, it is used by extension to cover the cultural imports of communism and Christianity. The theme of the book is that until the ghosts of the … [Read More]

New book on Kim Ki-duk

For all you fans of this inventive director, there’s a new book out. I’ll post some comments once I’ve read it, but that won’t be for a while as I’ve got quite a backlog to get through. That plus the fact that the English version won’t be available until November 2006, according to Amazon. Update: … [Read More]

Yom Sang-seop: Three Generations

(Archipelago, 2005) Translated by Yu Young-nan. First published in Korean in 1931 as 삼 대 and revised in 1948. Chronicles the lives of an extended wealthy family in Japanese-occupied Seoul. The old order gradually fades, the vultures descend for the pickings, while an underground of nationalists and socialists struggle to make a difference. Recommended. Available … [Read More]

Yi Chong-jun: Your paradise

(Green Integer, 2004) Translated by Jennifer Lee, Timothy R. Tangherlini Originally published as 당신들의 천국, Seoul, 1976 A puzzling story about the struggles of successive managers of a leper colony to improve the lot of the lepers. I think the Complete Review shares my puzzlement. One of the best-selling novels of 20th Century Korean literature, … [Read More]

Yi Mun-yol: the Poet

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 … [Read More]