The Challenges of Marketing & Translating Korean Literature (from LKL)

From over  our buddies over at London Korea Links, an event in London, The challenges of marketing and translating Korean literature explored at the KCC.

The post sums sets a problem:

Up until now, Korean wave or Hallyu, has been known in the West mainly for Korean food & Gangnam Style, pop artist Psy’s song on Youtube about the young of modern Seoul. One of the main questions posed by Samira Ahmed, was: What is the place of literature within the wider Korean wave? Dr Koh noted in relation to this point, that many applicants to undertake Korean studies at SOAS were particularly aware of Korean film and K-pop, but not so much Korean literature.

And the group sets out to give some answers. It is worth reading to see what they come up with, except for the rather bizarre suggestion that the answer is to translate more short stories. You’ll see my response to that unclever idea in the comments.^^

I particularly liked this approach:

Emmie Francis spoke about new female writers from Korea, whose dystopian novels would constitute the next wave of Korean literature. However, she added: “The current publishing landscapes are not very forgiving for unknown writers. We’re trying to capitalise on what we see as a growing market for Korean writing & East Asian writing in general,” she said. Short Books (for whom Emmie Francis works) is about to publish Gong Ji-young’s Our Happy Time, translated by Sora Kim Russell.