Found on the Web #14

A Couple of Interesting Web Finds:

1) From the lovely and talented (and limping) James at Grand Narrative (who will be presenting at RASKB this Tuesday) on Korea Society’s vimeo, The Korean War in Korean Voices through Literature with Professor Jin Young Choi. The website describes it:

On November 2, 2010, Dr. Jin Young Choi, professor of American literature (emeritus) at Jungang University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spoke at The Korea Society to secondary social studies and language arts teachers as part of the New York City Department of Education’s After School Professional Development Program Korean History through Literature. Dr. Choi introduced Korean literature that deals with the Korean War, including One Woman’s Way, a collection of her columns published in the Korea Herald, The Naked Tree, written by Pak, Wan-so, and The Red Hill written by Ha, Geun-chan. As a survivor of the Korean War, Dr. Choi shared her vivid memories and experiences of the Korean War and emphasized that the Korean War, which is often called as the forgotten war, needs to be remembered and taught in a meaningful way.

2) Elton LaClare (who seems to be leaving Korea?) leaves with an amusing shot at “Buckwheat Seasons.”  Longtime readers of this blog know that is has always boggled me how much Koreans love this story and how often it has been translated. After reading much other Korean literature I’ve come to understand Buckwheat.. but… well.. let’s just let Elton take the moneyshot:

As an avid reader of Korean literature in translation, I’ve often had cause to wonder about the factors taken into consideration when deciding if a particular book warrants the time, effort and expense required to produce a translation. Rendering a story in another language while still being true to the spirit of the original is no easy task. It’s a wonder, therefore, that Lee Hyo-Seok’s ‘When Buckwheat Flowers Bloom’ has been translated, not just once, but five times in a single volume. It would seem to suggest that the story is of such genius that it’s nothing less than a moral imperative to bring it to the attention of a worldwide audience.

That last sentence says it all, and so cleverly that if you don’t want to understand it you don’t have to.  In any case, you can read the rest of his review, which focuses on what the “moral imperative” means for Koreans.

3) An interesting blog for folks interested in translation in general, Gina Choe’s blog, blog books in translation. And I don’t just say that because she said nice things about me.