[KS] Bad habits in academia

Pankaj Mohan pankaj.mohan at arts.usyd.edu.au
Thu Dec 8 20:46:27 EST 2005

When one reads Lu Xunian vitriol at academics in South Korea, one fails 
to understand how the autor of this uncompromisingly acerbic prose could 
lean on the same 'sub-culture" when required, and lavish most florid 
compliments on one of the members of the same parasitic manadarin . A 
professor of Seoul National University sent a 17-page open letter to 
scores of European academics in 2001, and revealed that 'he (once a 
'beloved protege' ) “ wrote me so many letters saying that if he found a 
job it was only thanks to me.” that "the favour he got from me he would 
not be able to repay in a thousand years", that "he would not be able to 
repay me not even until the day of his death" and “I and my wife think 
daily of Your grace as if received from Heaven”, and so on. He kept 
writing to me such remarks over and over again. (I have preserved all 
his letters and email correspondence). '.
Exploitation is not unique to South Korea, and Samuel Wang's experience 
can not be taken as a symptom of societal malaise. Such a sub-culture 
exists in Korea, as in other parts of the world where the root of 
traditional consciousness is still strong, because there are always its 
clients, its buyers who benefit from it.
Pankaj Mohan

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