First up was a press-conference during which about 8 of us talked about our impressions of the changes in the state of Korean literature in translation. We had folks from Poland, France, Spain, Germany, Canada, and the US (me!). The press seemed interested, but my poor Korean no doubt made me slightly less quotable. The interesting, but not surprising, thing was that we all shared a sunny outlook about the future of Korean translated literature, and shared several frustrations (Romanization?) in common.
Then it was off to the opening dinner – amusingly this had been moved to Wednesday night and I had somehow missed the notification. Thankfully, they told me during the press conference, so I hung around and had a brilliant dinner.
The room was stuffed with Korean literary talent, both writers and translators. The picture below includes LTI Korea President Kim Joo-youn, Author Yi Mun-yol, and translator Brother Anthony, as well as a score of other luminaries.
I sat at a table with Bruce Fulton and Joanna Elfving Hwang. When dinner was over, Joanna ran over to her favorite author, and so did I. I ran over to get a picture for the Wikipedia, quickly took it, and returned to the table. Then I asked Bruce if the writer had anything translated into English. He said, yeah, a story about two Korean expatriates on a boat in Australia and I immediately recognized that story as “The Long Road” and then realized that I had not only taken a picture of that author (Kim In-suk), but had also chatted with her and put her up on the Wikipedia. LOL and/or oops!
Anyway, I now have a less formal picture of Kim In-suk and was utterly boggled to hear that she is my age – I would have guessed her in her early 30s at the oldest.
Bruce, Joanna and I whiled away the rest of the evening drinking the excellent wine served at the conference, and all headed home at about 9:45.
It was a great start to the conference.