International Literary Exchanges


Introducing Korean Literature to Mexico, Cuba
Last summer, the Daesan Foundation sponsored a series of events in Mexico and Cuba designed to provide an introduction to Korean literature. In attendance at the forum, which ran from June 21st through July 2nd, were many prominent members of the Korean literary community, including novelist and Gangwon Universitiy professor JEON Sang-Guk, poet CHOI Seung-Ho, novelist LEE Seung-U, and Danguk University professor KO Hye-Sun.

On June 23rd, the Cuban Writers' League hosted a Korean literature-centered event attended by Francisco Lopez, president of the League, and leading Cuban author Leonardo Padura. A special edition of the League's publication "Union" was dedicated to Korean literature.

The events held in Mexico were made up of four separate readings of Korean literary works. Mexico's Ministry of Culture, the Mexican Authors' League, and various academic institutions and organizations were actively involved in these events, participating in discussions, seminars, and lectures. In addition, on June 30th, an agreement was reached with "Fondo de Cultura Economica," Mexico's largest publishing house, to pursue the Spanish language publication of a 'Korean Literature' series.
Participation in the Frankfurt Book Fair and Book Readings
The Daesan Foundation has already begun preparations for Korea's participation in the 2005 Frankfurt Book Fair as a Guest of Honor. In addition to securing a Daesan booth at the Fair itself, the Foundation also hosted a reading of Korean Literature in Frankfurt.

The Daesan Foundation's booth included works of Korean literature in translation as well as a selection of Daesan World Classics. Also displayed was a photographic record of past events Daesan has sponsored in order to further international literary exchange. During the five-day Fair, an average of 60~70 people, including scholars of Korean literature and representatives from German publishing houses, visited Daesan's booth each day.

A number of book readings by visiting Korean writers were held in and around Frankfurt. On October 10th, a forum held in the International Center within the Book Fair complex included readings by poet HWANG Ji-Woo, novelist SHIN Kyung-Suk, and KO Won, a poet and Seoul National University professor. Uwe Schmelter, the director of the Goethe Institute, acted as mediator for this event, which had approximately 120 participants.
A second reading and literature/culture discussion session held later that same day at Frankfurt's Main Library was also attended by HWANG Ji-Woo and SHIN Kyung-Suk and mediated by Thomas Hocke, a prominent member of the German press.
LEE Hye-Kyung's Liberaturpreis Honorable Mention
LEE Hye-Kyung's novel The House on the Road was awarded the Liberaturpreis honorable mention. Each year, a candidate for the honorable mention is nominated by the winner of the previous year's grand prize, after which the work is evaluated by the panel of Liberaturpreis judges. The House on the Road was nominated by the winner of 2003's 16th Liberaturpreis, novelist OH Jung-Hee.

The House on the Road is a full-length novel that explores the relationships between members of a family on the verge of collapse. In March, author LEE Hye-Kyung visited Germany and gave a number of readings. This novel will be published in 2005, in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Venezuelan Poetry Collection : Book Launch, Poetry Reading
In celebration of the publication of Modern Poetry of Venezuela 60 Poets, the Daesan Foundation lent its support to a book launch/poetry reading hosted by the Venezuelan embassy in Korea. Held on June 2nd at 'Literature House, Seoul,' the reading was attended by the Venezuelan Ambassador, the Chilean Ambassador, the Mexican Ambassador, and numerous professors and members of the Korean literary community.
Author LEE Ho-Chul's American Book Tour; Book Launch
To launch the newly published English language translations of LEE Ho-Chul's novel Southerners, Northerners and book of short stories Panmunjom and Other Stories, the Daesan Foundation sponsored LEE's U.S. book tour. The theme of LEE's book tour was 'Overcoming Division, the Hope of Humanity.' The tour began at the Korean Cultural Center in New York on November 30th and ran through the middle of December, with stops in Portland, Washington, Berkeley, and Los Angeles.
Poet KIM Kwang-Kyu: Book Launch, Lecture Tour
To celebrate the Japanese publication of Selected Poems of KIM Kwang-Kyu, the Daesan Foundation sponsored a book launch tour in recognition of both the author, KIM, and the translator, professor YOON Sang-In of Hanyang University. The book launch, held on November 25th, was attended by Dakaki Yuko, the president of the publishing house that released KIM's collection of poetry (土曜美術出版社), as well as poets Hotei Doshihiro and Ibaragi Noriko. Kim and his works, said to have "changed the way the Japanese perceive modern Korean poetry," have received much acclaim in Japan. KIM Kwang-Kyu's lecture at Waseda University, entitled "Today's Korean," was a great success.