picked up haruki murakami’s travel essays today, except they’ve been translated into korean because, to the best of my knowledge (as informed by google searches, the most recent of which was a few months ago), they aren’t available in english. also started reading shin kyung-sook’s please look after mom in its original korean while i was at the bookstore earlier today, and i loved how it read in korean — the voice is so much lovelier and powerful in korean, i thought, and i’ll probably go back and pick it up as well — or, you know, order it over the internet because i think it’s cheaper on-line …
(lest this create the illusion that my korean is fluent or near-fluent, i feel like i must clarify that my korean just barely hovers at conversational. as far as reading goes, i can read hangeul just fine, but my comprehension is pretty low, but this never stopped me from buying books in korean because my philosophy is that, if i want to improve my korean, the most effective way for me to do so is simply to plunge myself in it.)
i started reading kim young-ha (translated) last weekend, and one of my lasting impressions thus far is that, tonally, he reminds me a lot of haruki murakami. i got that feeling really strongly in i have the right to destroy myself, although it’s somewhat less so in your republic is calling you, and i do wonder how much of that has to do with translation. i mean, the similarities i find don’t really have anything to do with writing style necessarily or the overall narratives but the feeling their writing emits and the tone it captures, and the unfortunate truth is that things are inevitably lost in translation.
(i didn’t know the korean titles of kim’s novels, so i couldn’t browse them whilst in the bookstore earlier today. i’ll definitely go back, though, with the titles in hand.)
(and i still dream of one day being able to read murakami in his original japanese.)
anyway, it’ll probably take me years to get through murakami’s travel essays, but i’m happy to have them. and i’m excited to (re)read please look after mom in korean soon. and, one day, i hope my korean improves … but i’ve been saying that for quite some time now …