Lee Sung-il translates classical Korean

March 25, 2009

The Korea Herald has an article today about Lee Sung-il’s new translation of 15 classical Korean poems. The article takes the opportunity to comment once more on the lack of Korean literature available in translation (we posted on another article on that topic a while back), and it sounds like the Korean government is very committed to bringing Korean literature to the rest of the world. This anthology, The Brush and the Sword: Kasa, Korean Classical Poems in Prose, is actually a bilingual edition published by Cross Cultural Communications, presenting the translated poems together with their originals.

“Reading literary works in translation is not the royal road in getting acquainted with a literary tradition alien to one’s own,” [Lee] said. “So long as the lines in translation echo the original verse’s rhythm and meaning, however, one must be satisfied, for then the requirement of approximation to the original can be considered to have been met.”

-ar

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