Korean literature’s rise on the back of “Please Look After Mom” – CSMonitor.com

Another article proclaiming the rise of Korean literature based on the success of PLAM, this time from the Christian Science Monitor:

Korean literature’s rise on the back of “Please Look After Mom” – CSMonitor.com.

No new information, but it does show how the success of one author doesn’t necessarily herald the rise of a national literature so much as that one author as the one representative author of that country.  The first paragraph is an implicit reminder of that fact:

Brazil has Paolo CoelhoColombia can boast of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Japan gave the world Haruki Murakami. All are popular writers of fiction who have sold tens of millions of copies between them, a feat giving them – and their countries – worldwide renown.

One country, one author. How many Brazilian, Colombian, or Japanese authors can you name off the top of your head (I kind of want to discount Japan here as it seems the exception to the rule, but maybe that’s just in my East Asian Studies world microcosm)? Not too many, I’m guessing, if you’re not from that country or a reader of those authors’ source languages.

Characteristically, Brother Anthony has a pithy comment at the ready:

“There are in a way far too many [Korean works of literature] being published in English,” says the naturalized Korean, known locally as An Sonjae.

He says one of the fundamental problems in the backing of Korean literature is that it is misdirected. Rather than putting so much focus on the business front and publishers, there is a greater need, he says, for support of authors and their development.

So, again, nothing really knew, but it’s always good to get some press.

Leave a Reply