More on Book Covers – and Korean lit a bit missing

Not Lee Hyori, Again!

My Imaginary Book Cover

Some time ago I mentioned a post at discussing the art cliches used in “Asian” book-covers in general. I also noted this hadn’t seemed to take hold in Korean translations just yet (or at least the ones I have).

Another article has popped up on this topic over at eccentric yoruba (ALAS, Link has expired), and it focuses entirely on the “cropped female facial image” approach. It has good examples of the trope, but what is most interesting to me is that it doesn’t seem like a single example is of a Korean novel.

A clever analyst can spin straw from gold just as easily as make gold from base elements. So there are (at least) two ways to look at this.

First, one could argue that Korean translations don’t fall into this graphic trap.

Second, one could argue that bloggers don’t see the covers of Korean translations, because they aren’t successful.

My immediate thought is mostly the second, and perhaps a bit of credit in that the first  is also explanatory.

It will be a good day when there is enough Korean literature in read translation that we will need to discuss if the book covers have become stale. 😉

5 thoughts on “More on Book Covers – and Korean lit a bit missing

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  2. i find it is quite difficult to find Korean books that have been translated to English. however, ‘The Calligrapher’s Daughter’ (one of the book covers i used as an example) was written by Eugenia Kim who is Korean-American. to be honest that book was the first novel i read that was set in Korea.

  3. EC – yeah, but I disqualify Kim for writing in English and therefore, likely, having come through an all Western writing process.
    LOL – not to say anything bad about the book, it just isn’t translated.

  4. The cover of the English translation of Tongue, by Jo Kyung Ran, shows a partial face on the cover, although it’s hard to tell if the face is meant to be Asian or not.

  5. troisroyaumes

    Thanks for that info. I’d guess the picture WAS intended to be Asian. One thing I didn’t think much about as I posted this, was that I am seeing translations printed here in Korea, so Western cliches might be more absent here.

    Perhaps after Tongue, comes the deluge…

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