Found on the Web #16: Buckwheat Seasoning; a new blog, and translation into Vietnamese

Sticky Stuff

Found on the Web

A couple of things found on the web..

First, from the estimable Zen Kimchi, a trip to Pyeongchang to explore buckwheat cuisine in the land that Lee Hyo-seok immortalized in  Buckwheat Flowers. Having eaten buckwheat noodles in Seoul, I can attest to their tastiness.^^

Second, a fine new blog on Korean literature the Korean Literature Blog in which Jerôme de Wit shares his interest of Korean literature  comments  on books he has read, and also on Korean literary history. I think I’ve mentioned here, before, de Wit’s excellent three-part post on the origins of Korean modern literature.

Finally, an article on the lack of translation (sound familiar?) of Korean literature into Vietnamese:

Organized by the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) and the Korean Literary Translation Institute yesterday, the international conference drew a great number of translators from across Asia to discuss the translation of Korean literature into Vietnamese.

Phan Thi Thu Hien, a professor of the HCMC USSH said more Korean literary works the number of Korean literary works that have been translated in Vietnam is not on par with the scale of Korean literature.

Since 2006, only 30 Korean books have been published in Vietnam. And this is out of more than 13,700 international literary works that have been translated here, Hien said.

Of these 30, Hien said the National Library of Vietnam keeps 9, against 85 translated works from Japan and 539 from China.

Those are some pretty grim numbers.

3 thoughts on “Found on the Web #16: Buckwheat Seasoning; a new blog, and translation into Vietnamese

  1. Interesting.

    Were those 30 books even fiction?

    Separately, I saw this video [http://www.france24.com/en/20110721-augustin-trapenard-distant-hours-kate-morton-house-on-the-marsh-florence-warden-en-culture] on the pleasures of gothic literature.

    Any Gothic fiction in ROK?

  2. Charles (the other),

    I’m guessing literature since all the rest of the text refers to literature/literary.. but no being sure.^^

    If there is Gothic fiction in the ROK I’m guessing it is fan-fiction or on the internet. It would be very unlikely to be translated as the powers that be would certainly not consider it ‘serious’ literature. I have joked, here and elsewhere, that someone should be writing the great vampire novel located in Seoul – it would be a great town for it and that is a genre of literature that is currently red-hot.

    On a slightly different topic, I am slowly getting to your question of some time ago about love stories… certainly an outlining post in a day or two, since I think it could be turned into something publishable…

    Charles (the KTLIT guy)

  3. I agree that a Gothic novel with vampires could be effective if set in Korea.

    Also, vampires, ghosts, etc.

    The key problem, it seems from your posts, is that the powers in ROK are only interested in supporting the translation of what they deem to be “serious” literature.

    And such ‘serious’ literature is among the least commercially viable forms of fiction, and thus unable to support a cadre of translators.

    Without a change somewhere in that basic economics equation, Korean lit will largely remain the province of specialists, like Vietnamese lit, or Laotian lit.

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