Literary masterpiece translated into Englsih, Russian
By Kwaak Je-yup
“The Taeback Mountains,” Jo Jung-rae’s 1995 masterpiece and one of the classics of contemporary Korean literature is going to be published in English and Russian.
Linco Global, a London-based company specializing in editing, translation and publishing, announced last week that it has signed a contract with Jo to release his 10-book series in the two languages.
The firm uses “Knowledge Pen” as its trading name.
“‘The Taeback Mountains’ is a masterpiece that should win a Nobel Prize, but has not earned the international attention it deserves because it hasn’t been translated into English,” said company director Natalia Kovaleva in a statement.
“With this English publication we will let the international readership become informed about the excellence of Korean literature.”
Over 7 million copies of “The Taeback Mountains” have been published in Korea, making it one of the country’s bestselling novels of all time.
The marathon story’s backdrop is early 20th century, which is little-remembered among the country’s youth. It covers political events and zeitgeist on the turbulent post-war peninsula, including the Jeju Uprising of 1948.
French and Japanese versions already exist, and the Mandarin Chinese translation is also in the works by the Shanghai People’s Publishing House.
The original has been printed by Hainaim Publishing Company since its first edition in 1995.
The prolific author has written two other multivolume novels, called “Arirang” and “Han River,” which complete a trilogy with the “Mountains.” They have also been bestsellers. He has written many short stories and novellas as well.