Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Young-Ha Kim's Monster.

On AuthorTrek's Young-Ha Kim's page there is a great essay about what the US might mean to some of the rest of the world, and ends musing about the role of writers:
'Novels and poems allow us to stand in other’s position and see ourselves through their eyes.'

Young-Ha Kim provides some more good quotes in his book Your Republic is Calling You. I particularly like 'Life is a continuous cycle of once terrifying things becoming normal.'

His novel is a good one for learning about the mores of modern Korea: the ritual drinking, bowing, and general politeness of society are subtly evoked, as are some of the differences between North and South. My favourite parts were the slightly weird, unexpected things that were lightly commented upon: for example the friend that turned out to be imaginary, and the quiet studious girl who suddenly flashes at her boyfriend on-line (an image which is then sent around the entire school for all to appreciate). In the middle of the novel there are tracts that tell a lot about the philosophy of the place, and the end becomes an exciting spy story in a traditional sense. At the end there is a lot to muse over.

I now going to read a few more of Young-Ha Kim's short stories, which are also on-line on the Authortrek page, then I think I shall move on from Korea to some place else.


Blogger Charles Montgomery said...

Hey Clare..

Nice review.. did I mention the short story collection "Waxen Wings" the last time I stopped by here?

If not, I should have. Totally worth reading before you move to North Korean literature. ^^

I mentioned you on my blog and dropped a link to the post on Kim's Facebook page. LOL, unlikely that will suddenly make you world famous, but....


Tue Mar 08, 02:40:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you Charles! That's very good of you. Yes, you did mention Waxen Wings - it's on my list. Looking forward to reading it.

Tue Mar 08, 02:41:00 pm  

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