[KS] more Yi Sang questions

Young-Jun Lee lee41 at fas.harvard.edu
Tue Sep 14 23:15:32 EDT 2010

Dear Kevin Parks:

1931, originally titled 一九三一年 (作品 第一番), was translated from
Japanese by 김윤성 and published in 현대문학, 1960 November, and included
in 이상문학전집 (김주현 주해, 소명출판, 2005), with the Japanese original.
Authorship of many poems included in the preceding 이상 전집editions has
been put to question by scholars, including 김윤식 in his 이상문학 텍스트
연구(1998, 서울대출판부). Self-Portrait was excluded by the book I
mentioned. 권영민 edition also? Text scholarship develops.


All the best,


Young-Jun Lee


AZALEA: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture

Korea Institute, Harvard University

CGIS South Building, Room S228
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
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From: koreanstudies-bounces at koreaweb.ws [mailto:koreanstudies-
bounces at koreaweb.ws] On Behalf Of kevin parks
Sent: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 5:32 PM
To: Korean Studies Discussion List; kp8 at me.com
Subject: [KS] more Yi Sang questions



I am looking at an English translation of a poem by Yi Sang entitled 1931.

This translation appears in Crow's Eye View: The Infamy of Lee Sang, Korean
Poet by Myong-Hee Kim on pages 52-53.

I am trying to find the original Korean of this text, which I assumed would
appear in  the poetry text of the multi-volume complete works. I used to
have the green one from Moonhak Sangsa sa which suddenly I can not find,
but I also have the new edition (the one with the white cover) of 이상 전집
1 시 from 문학에디션 뿔.

This text should be from Yi Sangs "chibi" series. Yet I cannot find this
poem anywhere in this book, which is odd since I presume that this is newer
and more complete than the Moonhak Sangsa sa edition and should is a good
complete collection of Yi Sang's poems. (?).

I would like to check the translations as well as verify there are other
sections to this text. Perhaps it is best  if I simply reproduce the
translation I have in front of me.


    My lung was having appendicitis. I was admitted to the Fourth Hospital.
The doctor had been stolen, rumor has it he was exiled.
 I saw the butterfly that stayed out past its season. Obtained a nurse
doll. Made a faults appendix, placed it behind thing glass to make a
counter point. Tried all the best home remedies. In all due course, the
stomach went bad, the face turned pale. Anemic.

    No one knew where the heart was located. Some said it was in the
stomach, others said chest. Opinions proliferated beyond control.
    A quantity of blood was lost. Analysis show the contents of my blood to
be a mixture of inorganic substances.
    Discharged. A great memorial shaft was erected to the white youth. I
collapsed from heart failure before it.

    Because I stood upside down on the Earth, I was beaten up by the
members of the Third International Party. For that reason I was tossed into
the sky in an unmanned airplane. They laughed at my cruel punishment. At
that moment I was afforded the opportunity to inspect behind the scene of
the Earth's finance scheme in great detail.

    Suddenly, the clock in my room struck 13. At that moment, the bell that
announces a special edition rang announcing my escape from prison.
    Suffering from insomnia and narcolepsy, I am stuck in the middle
between right and left.
    Towards my interior, the monument of my virtue, crumbling, collapses.
Serious injury. The world reports and error:
    12+1=13. From that day forward, my clock had three hands.

Additionally…. I am curious to source the opening text from this volume of
translations. I am going to guess that this is in one of the other volumes
(stories or essays) of the Moonhak Sangsa sa? While I am typing up a storm
I might as well reproduce this as well:


 I have no idea where this is. There is terrain, a land passed on from time
immemorial. This is a wasteland. There is the pyramid-like nose.  Holes
through which the infinite comes and goes. The air never fades. It is the
same air breathed by my ancestors, by my past lives. The sky-ingrained eyes
reveal the brief frame of an age-old phantom. No memories have been
bequeathed. The clutter of civilization passes by the ears, wornout worlds
on an old tombstone. Someone said this is a deathmask. Someone else said
the death mask has been stolen. Like frost, death forms. The beard won't
grow, it grows course like dried grass, and the mouth cries out loud as the
weather changes -like a water spout.

Anyone recognize either of these texts? Apologies for the very long post.

Kevin Parks

PS. Anyone have any thoughts on these Yi Editions? The Moonhak Sangsa sa -
vs- the Moonhak Edition BBul? I'll be back in Seoul in a couple weeks and
wonder if I should try to get find a store that has the old Moonhak Sangsa
sa edition, or if this new edition is just arranged differently. I guess
these poems are public domain and that the Moonhak Edition BBul is just
another edition, not meant to supersede the Moonhak Sangsa sa edition? I
know that Yi Sang poems are still coming to light from various sources.

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