I resisted watching this for a while because I thought it would be rage-inducing, but it was funny haha.
Huzzah! The new issue of Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture is out, with special features on South Korean science fiction and Hong Gildong. The translations include stories by Kim Kyung-uk, Kim Jung-Hyuk, Park Min-gyu, Bae Myung Hoon, Han Yujoo, Koh Jongsok, and Seo Hajin.
Full table of contents and info here.
From the MACK (Movement for the Advancement of the Cultural-diversity of Koreans) foundation:
Please tune in live on air The Stream on Al Jazeera English tomorrow 330pm EST/430 AM (Wed) KST, former MACK VP Cindy Lou Howe will be discussing EVEN THE RIVERS Film that highlights MACK Foundation’s work with Greg Chan-wook Diggs-Yang. The topic is “Multiculturalism in South Korea” and we hope you will tune in to share your perspectives! Join the conversation on Twitter #ajstream @ajstream @eventherivers You can watch at the link below!
Seoul Selection have just published “Eerie Tales from Old Korea” a collection of Korean ghost stories originally translated and published 100 years ago by Homer B. Hulbert and James S. Gale, that I have selected and published to celebrate the 150th birthdays of Gale and Hulbert. Happy Birthdays, both, and thanks to Seoul Selection. I just hope they sell well and people enjoy them.
And the description from Seoul Selection:
Homer B. Hulbert and James S. Gale, two of the most famous North American missionaries to come to Korea in the 1880s, were very fond of ghost stories, but for years the Korean scholars they met swore that no such stories existed in Korea. Eventually, they discovered that Korea, too, had a plentiful supply of ghosts and spirits, celebrated in many eerie tales. However, because the stories had seemed too frivolous or were connected with shamanism and Buddhism, the scholars had been ashamed to talk about them.
A main source of these stories were collections of yadam. These were a form of short tale, especially popular in the Joseon period. Whereas Confucian classics were the gateway to officialdom, yadam offered an escape valve, dealing with things much closer to daily life. The stories told there were about individuals who were not always admirable paragons of Confucian virtue; rather, they were often artful dodgers who managed to escape from tricky situations; survive traps; deal with ghosts, spirits, and nine-tailed foxes; and even get rich in the process.
As we celebrate the one hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Hulbert and Gale, the present selection of Korean ghost stories—nostalgic for their echoes of the lost world of old Korea and its many ghosts—is offered for the pleasure of readers in the twenty-first century, one hundred years after their original publication.
Apparently, Dan Brown’s latest novel Inferno took eleven translators to an underground “bunker” near Milan to translate nonstop for three months. There’s a joke about some monkeys and typewriters (all chain smoking and drinking coffee in my mind’s eye) in there somewhere, but…
From Publishing Perspectives:
Dante himself would have been impressed. For nearly two months, 11 people were kept tucked away in an underground “bunker” near Milan, Italy, (actually a windowless high-security basement at the Milan headquarters of Mondadori, Italy’s largest publishing company, owned by Silvio Burlusconi) where they worked seven days a week until at least 8pm each night; all to translate Dan Brown’s new book, Inferno, into French, German, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, and Portuguese in preparation for its multi-nation simultaneous release on its publication date of May 14.
Here’s a news clip about it, complete with porno-background music (is the news site owned by Berlusconi too?). Dan Brown, iI girone dei traduttori: ”Noi, chiusi nel bunker” – Repubblica Tv – la Repubblica.it (mostly in English, with the Italians unsubtitled as it’s from an Italian news source). Once they get past the sensationalist parts about describing the bunkers, it’s pretty interesting to hear the translators describing their respective approaches to translation, like the one who says he never reads a novel he’s translating beforehand, so he can experience the book as a first time reader would.
I’m also impressed/surprised about the move towards the multinational simultaneous launch of the book, à la blockbuster movies and such. I guess blockbusters are blockbusters regardless of medium these days.
Thanks for the story, Stephen!
I learned recently, to my surprise, that I had written a novel about the immigrant experience. The novel I thought I’d written was simply about a mother and daughter, but the inside flap of the book jacket made it clear I had “written anew the immigrant experience.”
Not that it hasn’t been said before, but well put. And in the interest of essentializing, HE wrote a novel about an Indian American mother and daughter?! What does he know about the female experience?! Hahahahaha.
Seriously, though, does the tag “immigrant experience” necessarily mean it’s “minority literature”? Are they 100% conflated?
There will be a live stream of the talk, which takes place May 9, 630-8pm.
Now he can finally tell his parents to leave him alone — he’s a distinguished speaker at Habadŭ!
I don’t know how long they’ll keep this available, but here’s the L.A. Koreatown episode of Anthony Bourdain’s new show, Parts Unknown. Bourdain’s guides to Ktown are two “bad Koreans”: Roy Choi, chef/owner of the Kogi Taco Trucks, and David Choe, the artist. I’ve already heard some people criticizing the episode for being inauthentic, ignorant, and even culinarily offensive (‘Jollybee in an episode about Koreatown?!’ said one friend of a friend), but I thought it was pretty interesting for how it was so adamantly Korean American, regardless of whatever essentializing of Korean culture and history the two native informants accomplish. Their Ktown is, for this current boom in K-cuisine (yes, I think the aggressive marketing, experimentation, and exoticized domestication of Korean cuisine warrants it becoming a K-product), such a defining site for the history of Koreans in America. But they do identify in different moments as Korean (un-hyphenated), like when Choe’s father connects the conversation about the impact of the L.A. riots and the rise of Ktown to Korea’s current global cultural presence: ”now Korean culture, K-pop, Psy, it’s all over the world, [the] influence.” The somewhat random assemblage of cultural practices and food as what defines Ktown and Koreanness is what’s interesting about the story, because it says more about how cultures are personally codified (through food, location, interactions with different communities, parents, punishment…) and created emotionally and physically through consumption (mostly food, in this case).
In the end, it’s a TV show with the basic premise of eating the exotic, but this time they’re trying to exoticize the local as well (next episode: Colombia, and the one after: Canada. Trés chic). And it did include my new favorite explanation of han* from David Choe’s awesomely coiffed and accessorized mom as David read aloud the definition from Wikipedia ): “It’s heartburn.”
*disclaimer: I don’t have the best jŏng for han
New translations of non-fiction prose and poetry from North Korean defectors at wordswithoutborders.com
Translations by Sora!