Happy Birthday to Us!

It’s a semi-momentous occasion here at KTLIT. Today represents the one-year anniversary of the creation of the KTLIT page here at www.ktlit.com. The blog has actually run much longer, but was irregularly maintained and  moving to this domain was a try to move into the real world.  In the real world we judge website success by traffic, and in that respect it’s been a good year.

In that year we have had:

43,000 page views from 2,858 cities in 143 countries and territories.

As the map below shows, we’re going to have to do something to bolster our showing in Africa! And that one nation up there in the North that may not even have people living in it. ^^

These views have been of the 367 posts we’ve left here, which is a pretty decent “one-a-day” clip. To those post there have been 585 comments (some of them mine), and not a single troll among all those posts. So,  a big thank you to Charles, Tuttle, Yi Sang-bin, Roboseyo, and the other regular commenters here.

A special bonus thanks to those of you who have suggested topics to me, either directly, or by the virtue of the cleverness of your comments.

It is interesting to not the “internationalization” of the page. For the entire year, 67% of our hits have been from outside of Korea. But within this number there has been a decent sized swing. In March (the second real month of the blog), only 55% of our visitors were international. Last month, 67% of our visitors were international. For a blog that is trying to get information about Korean literature out to the English-reading world, that trend is extremely reassuring and I look forward to it continuing.

Final web note, we were the target of 8,596 spam comments and we praise the mighty Akismet that only one or two snuck through.

KTLIT also has 240 “followers” on Twitter and RSS, with the vast majority of those being on Twitter (follow us here!). I’d like to thank our re-tweeters, particularly Kim Young-ha whose retweets bring piles of hits to the site.

On another front entirely, the Wikipedia Project has been picking up steam.  Our first posts went up in May, and our last posts (of 2010) went up in December.  In that short time, there have been nearly 14,000 hits on the Wikipedia Project Pages. It will be interesting to report these numbers next year, when we hope to have 50-100 pages on the Wikipedia, depending on what kind of support I can get from the interested community.

On a front that may eventually be even more exciting, KTLIT is also part of the Nanoomi Android Application (“All That Cast Global Blogger”), which will be sending KTLIT podcasts and transcripts to the Android world.  (You can read about that at ChosunBimbo, here )

Nanoomi, and it’s leader Cynthia Yoo, has been an unbelievable asset to KTLIT – introducing us to opportunities that we would certainly have missed, and serving as a brilliant bridge to the Korea blogging community and literary world. If you aren’t checking out nanoomi.net, you’re missing out.

11 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Us!

  1. wow… congrats.
    I’ll let a group of translation scholars know your blog.
    Your blog will be greatly helpful to them.

  2. I would suggest that as a worthy goal for coming years, there be a focus on the quality of published translations from Korean.

    I say this because this well respected long-list [http://www.rochester.edu/college/translation/threepercent/] just came out.

    Not a single Korean translation is listed.

    If one wants to boost the reputation of Korean literature in English translation, one should focus on (among other things) literature that is well-regarded by reviewers.

    In the realm of literary fiction that is in translation, there are several outlets (Archipelago Books, for example, has a Korean book in translation, see: ).

    One should also focus on funding mechanisms for such translations.

    For example, would ethnic Koreans in English-speaking countries see translations into English as a source of pride?

    And, would they be willing to support such pride with their hard-won funds?

    A well-regarded publishing firm, Dalkey [http://www.dalkeyarchive.com/aboutus/?fa=NatlLit] offers such opportunities.

    In short, then, I would say that if one wishes to have Korean literature in English translation be viewed as anything more than a very exotic fringe (like Papuan literature in English), one must have a strategy.

    Korean does have the advantage that Korea is quite affluent, as are Korean emigrants and expatriates.

    But without a well-considered strategy that can be effectively implemented, Korean literature in English translation will remain the province of exotic specialists, and not a well-regarded literature in translation, like Japananese has attained, or other languages.

  3. Charles…

    Quite a lot to chew on in your very useful comment… I will shortly be posting about this (and one or two other things I found on that site) 3% problem.

    “Three Generations” is a daunting book and Archipelago Press is a minor press.. two things that strongly militate against it ever being successful in English. ^^

  4. Pingback: University of Rochester Ignores Translated Korean Literature

  5. I agree that Archipelago is a minor press.

    However, it is unlikely that a major press would even consider a Korean work at this point.

    Moreover, the only Korean works that would likely be published by a major press would be genre works: romance, thrillers, mysteries, or erotica.

    To build up support for Korean literary fiction, minor presses would be the most realistic option.

    Major presses are unlikely to want Korean literary fiction, given its lack of proven sales, and the low probability of such sales.

  6. Charles…

    I should say that I’m not against small approaches… I just prefer big ones. It is no surprise Pak Wan-so and Kim Young-ha are the most successful recent translations – they did have major publishing houses behind them. I hope that eventually becomes the answer to your last statement, but we will see. ^^

    And, yeah, any option is a good one.. with the caveat that it should be an OVERSEAS publisher in any case. I covered a bit of that here: http://www.ktlit.com/korean-literature/improving-translation-and-publication-success-for-korean-literature-part-iii-%E2%80%93-wins-losses-draws

    what makes “successful” translations (relatively speaking) is doing them outside of Korea….

  7. Charles…

    Nice one.. I know of their reviews (and have linked some here) but had never seen this page.

    any time you want to start posting here, just drop me a line. ^^

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