New old stuff from the inimitable Brother Anthony:
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.
I have so many thoughts on this, but I’ll have to hold off for now as they are related to something I’ve been working on. In the meantime, do check out the article and read the “netizen” comments–unless, of course, you don’t enjoy having your day ruined with bigotry.
“Koreans are decidedly more adventurous on the road to perfection.”
via The Reincarnation of Seoul – NYTimes.com.
I miss Seoul, but as a friend reminds me, this article puffs past the crushing income inequality that makes all of this a little ridiculous. Puffy puff pieces in the style magazine have pretty pictures of cake and façades. Surprise!
from The Rumpus: Psy the Clown vs. Psy the “Anti-American”: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity
Mercifully never got involved with any of this, but I like this piece as a reflection on “Gangnam Style,” almost a year (?) later by an author… well, see how many assumptions you make about the author before you get to the end of the article. It says a lot about us as readers and how quickly we try to codify people and our responses to things before we’re even done with something as short as a two screen blog post.
Yikes…this ad for an iOs version of the Dictionary of Japanese Collaborators is kind of scary for so many reasons…
via F. Hoffman on the Korean Studies Discussion List
waiting in the wings…
After a too-long hiatus while everyone readjusts, resettles, and resets, we’re trying to come back to writing here. See you soon with some occasional stuff.
p.s. That photo is actually from my kid’s school’s Pan-Asian Lunar New Year Festival. Yes, I know a couple of the flags are upside-down. But look how pan it is!
A special Korea edition of the Asia Literary Review will be available starting on May 8! Get your subscriptions in now.
Volume 23, Spring 2012: Korea
We are delighted to announce the publication of the spring 2012 issue of the Asia Literary Review. It will be in the post to subscribers on 8 May and available in bookshops and online thereafter. Our iPad app and eBook editions launch on the same day.
This issue focuses on Korea, both North and South, and includes an interview with Man Asian Literary Prize-winner Shin Kyung-sook; fiction by Kim Young-ha, Han Yujoo and Park Mingyu; poetry by the pre-eminent writer Ko Un; and an essay by Korea expert Michael Breen.
Shin Kyung-sook was awarded the Royal Salute “Mark of Respect” today at the Grand Hyatt. A short translation of the news blurb follows the photo.
“Every year, Pernod Ricard Korea selects someone who has made a great achievement in the field of arts and culture and awards them the “Mark of Respect.” Shin is pictured above with Peter Prentice (VP of Chivas Bros Asia-Pacific) and Jean-Manuel Spriet (CEO of Pernod Ricard Korea). Shin plans to donate the 50,000,000 (5천만원) KRW award to UNICEF and the Purme Foundation.”
Class act! Sadly, I was unable to attend as I was stuck at home with the flu.
But it’s just as well. Everyone who knows me knows that good booze is wasted on me.
The Korea Society – Film - November 20, 2011, 4pm.