Taebaek Mountain Range (needs to be translated)

Here’s a review of a book that looks worth reading. This is stolen whole fromcuidadocomodalmat (I don’t think I’m going to let that bother me as that seems to be stolen whole from another website. ;-)) a site which seems to be primarily in Spanish, but has an English page. Looks like another book to put on my list, well if it ever gets translated into English! It is currently available in French, German, and Japanese.

Last interesting point? The author appears to work at the same University I do.

Taebaek Mountain Range portrays the tragedy of ‘liberation lost’; upon examining this tragedy closely, we see a common problem towards the end of feudalism — namely, the persecution of the peasantry at the hands of the land-owning class. Jo provides a compelling portrayal of life in South Korea immediately after liberation. Taebaek Mountain Range has had an enormous influence on its Korean readers. The work demonstrates the power of imaginative writing; Jo’s words have the power to move the hearts of his readers and have them look back on history to confront the realities of the hidden past. The narrative inspires with its anti-war message. The text overflows with humor and playfulness even when describing tragic situations. The central characters never give up their optimism, their belief that they will ultimately prevail, even while suffering through the misery of war. Jo provides a meticulous analysis of human behavior. He uses his honesty and awareness of reality as weapons, but he never tries to push forward his own judgment. He portrays mid-twentieth century Korean society using sensual and sometimes even extreme language. His work is rich with both satire and poetry. Professor Calvez says, “Some of the expressions are coarse and crude but there’s also much profoundness. The parts portraying Korea’s shamanist faith and traditional rites leave particularly lasting impressions on the Western reader.” Jo shows the shortcomings of the Korean people, as well as their joy and optimism, and their upright mentality. These are some of the reasons why this work is considered one of the greatest works of Korean literature.

One thought on “Taebaek Mountain Range (needs to be translated)



    Don't get me wrong. I would LoVE to see it being translated. However, the regional dialects used in the novel are essential element that gives away regional conflict without having to explain anything. Also, he employed authentic regional dialects heavily in the novel that it's almost art by itself. It will be nearly impossible to find a translator, or a group of translators, who can do justice to his tremendous effort. I'm certainly not qualified to attempt it. Taebaek Mountain Range is not even on my dream list of books to translate–it is byond the pages I can even fathom (for now at least).


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