[KS] Re: FW: James West

Walter K. Lew Lew at HUMnet.UCLA.EDU
Sat Oct 17 21:35:57 EDT 1998

Several times over the last few years, I and some friends had the rich
experience of meeting the late James West, either at Harvard, where he was
a research fellow in the Institute of E. Asian Legal Studies, or at he and
his wife, the eminent translator of Korean literature Chun Kyung-ja's home
in nearby Lexington.  Aside from being one of the most impressively read
and sharply analytic minds I have ever encountered, James immediately
struck us as being a man of deep integrity, compassion, and moral vision.
It makes one stop to consider all the fundamental questions of justice and
metaphysical meaning that such an outstanding individual was taken from
this world at such a young age, at the outset of the new career I believe
he was developing at the time.  He and his colleagues, both in Korea and
the U.S., were truly committed advocates of the causes of social justice
and open and lively public debate.  As the recent announcement to this list
implied (see below), the role played by James West was a unique one and he
will be truly missed by those who sought him out for guidance and support
in the maelstrom of Korea-related issues and affairs.  As the announcement
also aptly noted, he was a "staunch friend" of noble Korean and American
ideals.  A staunch friend, indeed--it is praise to which I think even Jim,
despite his penchant for demanding ever more precision in language and
thought, would humbly, finally acquiesce.  Such dedication must have been
one of his aspirations, and his model should inspire each of us to redouble
our own efforts.

In mourning,
Walter K. Lew

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: kimsoft [SMTP:ysk at kimsoft.com]
>> Sent: Friday, October 16, 1998 10:55 AM
>> To:   moogoonghwa
>> Subject:      Re: James West
>> >In case you have not yet heard, this is to report the very sad news that
>> >Jim West died of a heart attack last night at the Koreana Hotel in
>> >Seoul.  He was apparently found in his bed after missing meetings
>> >today.  Funeral arrangements are pending and his wife and daughter are
>> >on their way back to Seoul from Harvard.  Jim was 43.
>> This is indeed a sad news.   Jim was a staunch friend of Korea and one of
>> few objective analysts of the Korean affairs.
>> I will miss him very much and Korea will miss him.


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