[KS] lost in progress

J.Scott Burgeson jsburgeson at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 26 00:20:26 EDT 2004

--- kevin parks <kevin at macosx.com> wrote:

You seemed to suggest that a
> work was only worthy, 
> if it was radical.

My point was simply that, based on direct personal
communication with them, I feared that the KLTI might
tend towards the safe and respectable and the expense
of more challenging works in its selection of the 100
books to be translated. For now, I will withhold
judgement until the final 100 books are available for
the public to see. In any case, innovation for its own
sake, i.e., as a purely academic exercise, is not
enough to make a work admirable or great. As T.S.
Eliot said in "Tradition and the Individual Talent,"
and artist must speak first and foremost to his or her
own generation. Naturally, as the generations change,
this requires the creation of new forms in order to
better speak to each new generation. Hopefully, the
KLTI will include in its 100 books a fair number of
works that speak directly and resoundingly to the
younger generations in Korea, and not just to older
generations. A visit to Kyobo Bookstore will quickly
confirm that up to this point, the amount of
translated Korean literary works speaking to the
current under-40 crowd is virtually non-existant. It
is to be regretted that it takes a "prestige"
international event like the Frankfurt Book Fair to
motivate gov't funded bodies here to provide ample
financial support to get more Korean literary works
translated and available in bookstores around the
world. I would argue that if they really did care
about such things, a wider and better selection of
translated Korean literary works would already be
available in bookstores. In my admittedly naive and
idealistic view, caring about genuine literature for
its own sake, rather then to impress foreigners for
the sake of Korea, Inc. or whatever, should ultimately
be the primary motivation...
   --Scott Bug  

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