Posts tagged “old garden”

  • The Old Garden reviewed at the Collagist

    The Old Garden reviewed at the Collagist

    April 15, 2010

    The Old Garden by Hwang Sok-yong (which you can start reading here, for free!) was just reviewed in the April 2010 issue of The Collagist. Take a look below.

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  • The Old Garden: What Time Means for a Lifer (Part 28/28)

    The Old Garden: What Time Means for a Lifer (Part 28/28)

    November 3, 2009

    My dearest Yoon Hee, The trial is over. I am sure you already heard what the outcome was. They sentenced me to life. It didn’t feel real. When I returned from the court, the chief guard called me. He is a devout Christian, and I am told that he did this not just to me but to murderers who received death sentences. He held my hand and prayed. I don’t remember exactly what he said. After returning to my cell, I read scribbles left on the wall by previous prisoners and began to ponder. There was one phrase, ‘existence is happiness.’ It seemed time was standing still. Read Part Twenty-Eight

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  • Long discussion of Hwang Sok-yong’s The Guest at Gypsy Scholar

    Long discussion of Hwang Sok-yong’s The Guest at Gypsy Scholar

    October 30, 2009

    Since early October, Horace Jeffrey Hodges—the "Gypsy Scholar"—has been putting out a series of posts about the characterization of smallpox as a "western" (or "Western") disease in Hwang Sok-yong's The Guest. The most recent of his articles on Hwang's wordplay and his sense of what it means to be "traditionally, exclusively, and authentically Korean" is here, and his article about some potential translation issues in The Guest can be found here. Read more about the series—and Mr. Hwang's books—within.

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  • Hwang Sok-yong at the Korea Society

    Hwang Sok-yong at the Korea Society

    October 29, 2009

    Thursday, October 29, 6:30pm, The Korea Society, 950 Third Avenue, 8th floor, New York, NY 10022. Please RSVP to natalee.ny@koreasociety.org.

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  • The Old Garden: One Shot of Sake and One Cigarette (Part 27/28)

    The Old Garden: One Shot of Sake and One Cigarette (Part 27/28)

    October 29, 2009

    After dinner I walked down to Todam, the Traditional Tea Salon, run by the youngest son of the Soonchun lady. I became reacquainted with the Bunny Boy, who was now in his thirties. Yoon Hee and I had adored the youngest boy at the main house. We frequently sent him on errands to the village in order to give him pocket money. Yoon Hee nicknamed him the Bunny Boy because his two front teeth protruded and his eyes were so round. It is inevitably disappointing to see someone you knew as a child all grown up. A child has a future full of possibilities, yet there is no shadow of greed. All too soon, however, the childish ingenuity and innocence are gone without a trace. As the face matures, layers of tired guile are added. The Bunny Boy was not shy at all. Instead, he seemed to be guarded or sneering at me, this old man who had returned. Read Part Twenty-Seven

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  • An Evening with Hwang Sok-Yong

    An Evening with Hwang Sok-Yong

    October 28, 2009

    Wednesday, October 28, 7pm, 16 W 32nd Street, 10th Floor, New York NY 10001. The Asian American Writers' Workshop, HeyKorean, Korea Literature Translation Institute, and Seven Stories Press, on the occasion of the English publication of The Old Garden, (winner of the Danjae and Yi Literary awards), present: An Evening with Hwang Sok-yong: Reading and Q&A Introduction by Dan Simon For more information please call: 212.494.0061 No RSVP necessary.

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  • The Old Garden: The Fuel Hole (Part 26/28)

    The Old Garden: The Fuel Hole (Part 26/28)

    October 28, 2009

    I closed Yoon Hee’s sketchbook and finished cleaning the room. I kept thinking I should warm up the room more, so I went out and walked toward the fuel hole. First, I stacked a handful of thin branches and ignited them with a lighter. Like a wriggling little animal, the flame spread to the top. I picked a few thicker branches and broke them. They were stacked over the flame, crossing each other to support a couple of logs on top. They were so dry that they caught easily without emitting too much smoke. I put a couple more logs in. The fuel hole was soon filled with warm yellow light, and the warmth spread to my lower body. I stared blankly at the flame. It looked like the tongue of a live creature, licking the fuel hole and spreading toward the kitchen. Read Part Twenty-Six

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  • The Old Garden: What Was Written in Yoon Hee’s Sketchbook (Part 25/28)

    The Old Garden: What Was Written in Yoon Hee’s Sketchbook (Part 25/28)

    October 27, 2009

    There they put you in a regular cage consisting of two layers of wire mesh; or rather, a small cage stands freely inside a larger one, and the prisoner only sees the visitor through this double trelliswork. It was just at the end of a six-day hunger strike, and I was so weak that the Commanding Officer of the fortress had almost to carry me into the visitors’ room. I had to hold on with both hands to the wires of the cage, and this must certainly have strengthened my resemblance to a wild beast in the zoo. The cage was standing in a rather dark corner of the room, and my brother pressed his face against the wires. “Where are you?” he kept on asking, continually wiping away the tears that clouded his glasses. —Rosa Luxemburg Read Part Twenty-Five

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  • The Old Garden: A Book Filled With Graffiti (Part 24/28)

    The Old Garden: A Book Filled With Graffiti (Part 24/28)

    October 22, 2009

    I took off my shoes outside the studio, pushed the glass sliding door to the side, and entered. The chill of the floor traveled up my feet, and the subtle scent of pine resin lingered in the air. Wait, I remember. What was that smell? It starts with a T . . . turpentine. Yoon Hee used to pour it onto her palette whenever she tempered her colors from the tube, holding two or three brushes in one hand. She always smelled like turpentine, the scent clinging to her clothes and apron with its numerous colors. I picked up her palette. There still remained traces of her brush where it had smoothed out paint after she squeezed it onto the palette. I could see the traces of bristles. The hand holding the palette was trembling weakly, and I felt her touch. Her fingerprints were left on the squeezed paint tubes, their openings hardened with dried paint. I looked through the neatly stacked canvases in the corner, as if leafing through a book. At the bottom I found a small canvas and placed it on the empty easel. Two heads painted close to each other. The face on the left is mine. Read Part Twenty-Four

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  • The Old Garden: The House in the Back (Part 23/28)

    The Old Garden: The House in the Back (Part 23/28)

    October 21, 2009

    The voice had come from behind me suddenly, and startled, I turned around quickly. There was a familiar face, but a changed one, like gradually chipped and worn household items I had seen. Suspicious, she narrowed her eyes and studied me slowly, from top to bottom. There she was, the wife of the vice principal, the Soonchun lady. I bowed. “How are you, ma’am?” “Who are you? I think I know you but I can’t quite place you.” “I’m . . . I’m the one who was preparing for the big exam.” I was sure she knew everything by now, but Yoon Hee had introduced her companion as her boyfriend who was studying for government exams. The Soonchun lady’s mouth was wide open, she clapped her hands lightly. Finally, a sound came out of her mouth. “My goodness, my goodness! Are you really . . . ? Mr. Oh? Mr. Oh Hyun Woo?” Read Part Twenty-Three

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