Posted : 2010-05-14 16:17
Updated : 2010-05-14 16:17

Recent books


Park Bum-shin; Munhakdongne: 408 pp., 12,000 won

Veteran novelist Park Bum-shin has released a new work that deals with a provocative story. The novel revolves around a note left by Lee Jeok-yo, a revered poet who died a year earlier. The note includes shocking secrets about the poet, who loved a 17-year-old girl named Han Eun-gyo and killed Seo Ji-woo, his pupil and author.

The lawyer faces a dilemma whether to make the note public in accordance with the poet’s last wish or keep it a secret since it might cause a huge stir, as the literature community prepares for the first anniversary of his death. The lawyer meets the girl and finds out what happened between these three people.

The poet was fascinated by Eun-gyo’s youthful beauty while Seo began obsessing with Eun-gyo as he noticed his mentor’s feelings toward her.

The relation between Lee and Seo disintegrates because of Eun-gyo. Lee is caught up with feelings of a sense of inferiority and jealousy and humiliation toward Seo. The novel explores the inner desires of human beings and obsessions beyond a typical love story.

-Chung Ah-young


Kim Yong-taek et al;Hwangso Books: 256 pp., 13,000 won

The new book ``Lecture’’ features memorable lectures by some of Korea’s favorite poets and novelists. The lessons are exciting and educational, whether they are held in a classroom or under a tree, and the writers get to share their memories with readers through this charming book.

It’s divided into two sections: the first being about the writers’ most memorable lessons in their lives and the second about literature classes that led them to pursue a literary career.

The essays are delightful, as they take readers down memory lane and place them back in any one of their most memorable lectures.

Writer Kang Jin shares his last lecture with one of his favorite teachers and confesses that it took some time for him to realize why his teacher cried so hard. Novelist Yang Gui-ja shares a letter she received from her teacher and mentions that every time she faces writer’s block or any problem in life, she reads it and learns something different every time.

The book will be a great way to rekindle childhood memories, and may even prompt readers to make a call to influential teachers from their past.

-Han Sang-hee

Market 3.0

Philip Kotler; Translated by Ahn Jin-hwan from English to Korean; Time Biz: 300 pp., 14,000 won

One of the hottest books that came under the spotlight at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2009 has finally made its way to Korea.

The book explores how corporations and individual consumers are influenced by the fast-paced changes in marketing. Over the past years, marketers operated in the modes of marketing 1.0 and 2.0; now they are shifting to marketing 3.0, which ushers in the consumers-oriented era.

The author delivers the clear message of "the human-centric era," and advocates that consumers should be active, anxious and creative.

The book explains that consumers are connected and well-informed through social networks. They want to become involved in the role of product values and raise their voices about their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the products.

Companies are seeking to grasp the human spirit of customers in this era as they want corporations to take more social responsibility and show more concern about various social issues such as the environment, poverty and disease.

-Chung Ah-young

Mother: Portraits by 40 Great Artists

Juliet Heslewood; Translated by Choi Ae-ri from English to Korean; ARTBOOKS Publishing: 183 pp., 13,800 won

There are many thematic books on artworks and artists, but this volume looks into how some of the greatest painters of the Western canon depicted their own mothers.

The featured faces are beautiful, loving and warm, but also withered and worn. Womanhood and maternity are widely explored subjects in paintings but designating one’s own mother as a model provides unique insight.

Paul Gauguin’s 1888 painting of his mother contrasts sharply with the 1840 photograph he used; the portrait exaggerated Aline Gauguin’s features to highlight her Spanish Peruvian background, which can be said to reflect his proclivity toward exotic cultures. Also, the background is rendered in yellow, which was probably a result of his friendship with Vincent van Gogh at the time.

Another interesting case is Egon Schiele. While he is famous for portraying primitive human desires through figures contorted in rather uncomfortable looking positions, his mother sleeps peacefully and gracefully in his 1911 portrait of her.

Other featured artists include van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall.

-Lee Hyo-won
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