• Some time ago KTLIT posted about a trip to the “Buckwheat Season” restaurant with foodie Jennifer Flinn. A few days ago, at fatmanseoul, Jennifer posted about our experience. It’s weird that she refers to me as “Professor Montgomery” in the post, since we’ve shared Makgeoli, buckwheat food, and cruel japes at the expense of Joe McPherson, but its worth reading Jennifer’s post.
• Another great find is at Koreana, where Park Hye-kyung analyzes Park Wan-suh’s Encounter at the Airport. Park Hye-kyung puts her finger on Park Wan-suh’s ouvre when she notes:
To the women in Park Wan-suh’s novels, the Korean War is a relentless process that only results in tragedy for all male members of the family, including young sons. The women who manage to survive the war’s devastation are left with the task of finding a way to live.
Park (the literary critic) is also quite good at pointing out, using the work of Park (the author), how the starvation of Korea helped to give Western goods iconic status, whether those goods were chocolate from GIs to children, or food Korean employees pilfered from PXs:
During the post-war period, the shiny products from America meant something more to the Korean people than just a means for eking out a meager living: They were like a mysterious amulet that offered a promise of future happiness.
This is really good criticism, unfortunately I can’t seem to find this short story online in English. 🙁 . It can be found in the collection, My Very Last Possession and Other Stories.
• Finally, a direct link to
the entire Kwangju Blog book reviews by Elton LaClare. (Alas, Elton has left the building and a complete redesign of the site seems to have made a step towards illiteracy by removing the book review section!) I’ll still link individual reviews when they sync with what KTLIT is doing, but the site is useful because LaClare generally takes a quite different review tack than KTLIT. It’s a great site to get another angle on Korean literature.