My lovely wife and I leave for Thailand tomorrow, so I’m in a bit of a planning frenzy.
However, I had a wildly entertaining meeting with Kim Young-ha last night. Without being too detailed, I’d say that everything cool about his writing is reflected in his public mien.
I have an hour or two of interview on tape, which unspooled effortlessly, but I have to sort through those tapes when I return to Korea.
As I think I noted in previous post, Kim is heading to New York to teach at Columbia University. As we traded (entirely in English, due to my lack of Korean Language skills) views on modern Korean literature I thought how lucky those kids at Columbia will be in that Kim is an energy guy and when he talks about Korean literature his knowledge and enthusiasm nearly overflow.
LOL -our discussion made me wake up this morning and run into my office and spend 8 hours working on my graduate class in translated Korean literature.
Details will follow when I’m back from vacation.
One last random detail. Last night as Kim and I ate at Noxa on Gyeongnidan-gil. A waitress hovered around us and I thought it was possible she knew who Kim was.
I was wrong.
Tonight my wife and I stopped in for a drink and the same waitress was working. I asked her if she remembered “me and the Korean man” from last night.
She did, and pointed at the seat Kim had sat in and kept saying “his face.”
As it turned out, she was watching Kim because she thought he was handsome!
The bonus was, when I said his name, she knew exactly who he was and became even more fluttery .
Funny stuff and a great evening.
Details will follow.
He spoke at great length about why he writes, a bit about how, and a lot about literature.
If you’re in New York after September first? Try to track this guy down.