받은날짜 :17-01-01 (일) 11:47

Dear Orun,

That's a moving story! I very much look forward to reading the works of  Shin Yeong-bok into English. There's definitely a need to translate the works of intellectuals writing in Korean into English and other languages. I once asked about expanding my Princeton-China translation series so we could include works from other East Asian languages but Princeton University Press headquarters decided that focusing on China is sufficient work for our series.  But once you translate the work, perhaps I can send it to my editor at Princeton for his consideration, it need not be published in my series. Princeton University Press, however, tends to publish works by academics so it might be a challenge.

And thank you so much for your efforts in 2016, I'm deeply honored.

Best wishes for a (not "the") new year,
Daniel

On Sat, Dec 31, 2016 at 12:06 PM, 김기협  wrote:

Dear Bing and Daniel,

 <China Model> has been my major occupation of 2016. The work has also been a great pleasure, and it was highlighted with the evening at your place. The work is over, but I wish to keep in touch with you. I will write to you whenever I come upon anything that may interest you.

 I am sorry the Korean edition is not coming out as soon as I hoped. The editor tells me that it will be published no later than in April. The publisher wants to invite you to Korea on or right after the publication, and I suppose the invitation will be made by early March. The political turmoil here is raising the publisher's expectation for readers' responses. Every cloud has a silver lining, doesn't it?

 Maybe it was because I liked the work of translating <China Model> so much that I came to like translating itself. I have decided to write less and translate more from 2017 on. So far I have translated about two dozen books into Korean(from English and Chinese), and now I am thinking about translating writings in Korean to English. There are some writings I would like to recommend to readers outside Korea.

 At the moment I am considering a book on Chinese classics by a peculiar person. Shin Yeong-bok(申永復, 1941-2016) was more of a philosopher than an economist, though he used to have a professor seat as the latter. He was in prison for 20 years, beginning in his late 20's and was first noted for his letters from the prison. He had to write anything he thought and felt in the letters because prison regulations at the time did not allow him to keep any writing on himself. I still remember a story in one of the letters: He wrote he liked winters better than summers in the prison. (All other people say the opposite, because the provision against the cold is not adequate there.) The reason he preferred the winter is, the inmates like the heat of their neighbors and want to keep close contact with them. On the other hand, in the summer, inmates in crowded cells hate the existence of their neighbors.

 I always took him for a very good thinker and writer, but did not feel a special respect to him... until his death. I met him a couple of years ago and sat together over a coffee when we visited a publishing house, by accident, at the same time. I told him that I liked his books, and he said that his wife liked my books. It amused me. If he says that his wife likes my books, does it mean that he himself does not like them?

 The puzzle was solved when I visited his funeral last January. As he was a great celebrity here, there were many mourners and mourners proceeded in columns of five to present flowers before his portrait. After presenting flowers, the column turned right and walked out, passing by family members of the deceased. When I approached them, the widow whispered to her son on her side, "This is Dr Kim Kihyup." I could see that she really was a good reader of mine. And I could also see how upright a person late Mr Shin was, and felt great respect to him. When he met me, he did not tell me that he liked my books, which is a matter of course,^^ just to please me, and just mentioned his wife's unusual liking of my books.

 With this newly generated respect, I began reading his writings in a new light. I began reading not only what he wrote, but also what he did not write. It's much the same way we read ancient classics, isn't it? And the new revelations led me to think about doing something like annotating them, and translation seems to be a good way of doing it.

 So much for what comes up to my mind. I wish you a very happy new year.

 

Happily Yours,

Orun

 

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