Tony’s Reading List Goes Korean

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that my major focus on the blog in 2014 has been Korean literature, and it’s an area which will be occupying a fair chunk of my time in the coming months too.  Today, then, I’d just like to talk about a few things related to K-Lit in the hope that a few of you out there might find the urge to check them out.

No pressure… 😉

The first of my items today is the contest currently being run by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, one in which they ask you to post a video review of a Korean Short Story.  But I don’t have any short stories, I hear you shout/whinge…  No worries – there are two collections of free stories for you to choose from: twenty classic K-Lit tales are available here; and fifteen twenty-first century stories can be accessed here.  See – easy 🙂  Just click on this link for details of how to enter, with the possibility of winning yourself a USD500 Amazon Gift card…

Of course, I’d quite like to win that Gift Card for myself, so I’ve been working hard on the stories – so much so that this has become my new project.  Yes, I now have my own Youtube channel, and with the exception of a few V-Logs from several years back (a time when health issues made it tricky for me to post normal reviews), all my videos are of the LTI Korea stories.  To date, I’ve posted six videos, covering eight of the twentieth-century stories, and I’m planning to review all of the free stories on this channel.  So, if you want a laugh (and you’re interested in how I look – and talk- in real life), why not drop by and have a look?  They’re all fairly short, promise…

Of course, I’ve been reading a lot more Korean literature than just the stories mentioned above.  So far in 2014, I’ve read and reviewed almost twenty works of Korean literature, and there are many more to come before the year is out.  Almost half of these have been from the Dalkey Archive Press Library of Korean Literature, and that would be a great place to start for anyone interested in taking their first steps into K-Lit.

However, if you’ve still got cold feet, and are unwilling to commit to a long work, there’s still a way to get a taste for Korean literature.  Quite apart from the LTI Korea stories mentioned above, Charles Montgomery’s excellent Korean Literature in Translation site has a section dedicated to bringing you free stories in English.  Just head over to the site, download one of the stories, and say thank you to Uncle Charles 😉

There you have it – my summary of what’s going on in K-Lit around these parts.  Hopefully, I’ll have persuaded you to give it a try, whether it’s from literary or mercenary reasons 😉  And if you do develop a taste for Korean writing, just stay tuned to the blog as there’ll be many more Korean literature reviews to come in the last few months of 2014 🙂


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