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Selected publications

Review: Na Man’gap – the Diary of 1636

Na Man’gap’s Diary of 1636, as George Kallander explains in his informative introduction, is the longest known private account of the second Manchu invasion of Korea. Na (1592 – 1642) was a senior scholar-official who was with the King and court inside Namhansanseong – he was in charge of military rations – throughout the siege […]

Book review: Paek Nam Nyong – Friend

When faced with a translation of a book written by a North Korean, based on past experiences you might expect material that’s hostile to the regime. Texts that have been rendered into English tend to be either defector testimonies or an occasional collection of short stories or poems by a dissident writer that have apparently […]

Book review: Hwang Sun-won — Lost Souls

Hwang Sun-won: Lost Souls Translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton Columbia University Press 2010, 354pp Having quite enjoyed two of Hwang Sun-won’s fuller-length stories – Trees on a Slope and Descendants of Cain – though without necessarily being enamoured of the characters of the stories they inhabited, I was looking forward to tackling Lost Souls, […]

Book review: Kim Sok-pom — The Curious Tale of Mandogi’s Ghost

Kim Sok-pom: The Curious Tale of Mandogi’s Ghost Translated by Cindi Textor Columbia University Press, 2010 (114pp) Originally published in Japanese, 1970. What seems to be new entrant in the Korean literature in translation market is more complicated than it first seems. The author, Kim Sok-pom, is actually a second-generation zainichi Korean resident in Japan, […]

Who Ate Up All The Shinga – a critical essay by Alice Bennell

Alice Bennell, UK winner of last year’s Korean Literature Translation Institute essay contest on “There a Petal Silently Falls”, contributes her entry for this year’s competition. Who Ate Up All the Shinga is an autobiographical novel chronicling the early life of the author, Park Wan-Suh. The Japanese occupation of Korea, and events leading up to […]

Struggling with all the Shinga

Well, I just finished this year's essay book (Park Wan-suh’s Who ate all the Shinga?) and it's even harder than last year. Nothing to get your teeth into. And that wasn’t meant to be a pun. Last year’s text at least gave you a challenge in trying to understand it. This year’s adds very little […]

The 2010 Essay Contest – Who ate up all the Shinga?

Last year, the Korean Literature Translation Institute launched an essay competition to encourage people to read Korean Literature in translation. The title chosen was Ch’oe Yun’s There a Petal Silently Falls – a novella which I personally struggled with. In my own feeble submission, I suggested that a colonial period novel would have been a […]

Petal essay contest Salon des Refusés 3

Peter Corbishley offers his entry into the “There a Petal Silently Falls” essay competition. A Korean novella – a human tragedy It is unnerving to have images from a half-recollected film1 play through a reading of There a Petal Silently Falls.2 Yet that sense of disorientation evocatively models how the girl’s bewildered spirit-awareness3 interweaves, recalls […]

Petal essay contest Salon des Refusés 2

The LKL Editor contributes his own unsuccessful entry into the “There a Petal Silently Falls” essay contest. Ghosts of Kwangju Ch’oe Yun’s There a petal silently falls is an interesting choice for a first Korean literature essay contest. Elusive in content, obscure in characterisation and insubstantial in length, it encourages a discussion not about the […]

Petal essay contest Salon des Refusés 1

Earlier this year the Korean Literature Translation Institute sponsored an essay competition based on Ch’oe Yun’s There a Petal Silently Falls. Now that the finalists have been announced, Michael Rank is the first to offer his submission for publication on the pages of LKL. The Kwangju (Gwangju) massacre of 1980 has been called the most […]

Troubles with the Petal

12 Sep: The only way I’m going to be able write anything on There a Petal is to leave it to the last minute and rely on the deadline pressure for inspiration. Having now read it three times I have no angle on it at all. 10 Oct: Really struggling to write 2,000 words on […]