The London Book Fair Korea Market Focus 2014: Korean Literature – Past and Present


A rare opportunity to learn about the story of Korean literature, from beautiful early printed books, many housed in the British Library, to the vibrant contemporary scene. Present will be one of the finest Korean novelists, Yi Mun-yol, whose translated titles include The Poet and Our Twisted Hero. He talks to Grace Koh and others about writing in a culture which is both time-honoured and hyper-modern.

Tickets: £5 (£4 Over 60s / £3 Concessions), book online

Date: Tuesday 8 April, 18.30-20.00
Venue: British Library, Terrace Restaurant, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

Yi Mun-yol was born in 1948. He made his debut as a novelist in 1979. Yi’s works were enriched by the classics of East Asia that he had naturally become familiar with during his childhood and the western literature that he had voraciously devoured in his young adulthood. In The Son of Man, Yi questioned the relationship between man and god; in A Portrait of Youthful Days, he portrayed the struggle and anguish of his youth. The Golden Phoenix was an exploration of the ontological meaning of art using calligraphy, a traditional art form in Korea. Yi also has consistently published works that are critical to the nature of political power. Our Twisted Hero is an allegorical depiction of the mechanism of the operation of political power; Homo Executants portrays the process through which political ideology suffocates humanity. Aside from these, his works include Hail to the EmperorThe Age of HeroesChoice andThe Immortality. The recipient of Korean’s Yi highest literary prizes, Yi has been published in over twenty countries including the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany; over 60 titles of his translated works are available.

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