The Korea Herald

ssg
소아쌤

Paju book fest to celebrate literature, history

By

Published : Sept. 28, 2011 - 15:42

    • Link copied

Ko Un, Lee O-young, Richard Booth to participate in nine-day event


Paju Book City, home to some 260 Korean publishing companies in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, is throwing a book-themed festival from Oct. 1 to 9, celebrating literature and its history with highly acclaimed participants from home and abroad.

Dubbed “Paju BookSori Festival,” the festival will hold diverse book-themed events, including lectures, performances and exhibitions. The 1.5 billion won project is bringing over 1,000 writers together along with Paju’s some 260 publishers.

Prominent poet Ko Un, Korea’s first culture minister Lee O-young, KAIST professor Jung Jae-seung, and literary critic Kim Byung-ik will give lectures on literature and arts on Oct. 1 and 4. Poet Ko Un will hold an exclusive session on Oct. 3, where he’ll recite some of his poems and talk about the personal side of his literary career. 
The official poster of 2011 Paju BookSori Festival. (Paju BookSori Festival) The official poster of 2011 Paju BookSori Festival. (Paju BookSori Festival)

Acclaimed authors Hwang Sok-yong, Sung Suk-je, and Han Chang-hoon will meet with their readers during the festival and each will talk about one selected work of their own.

Welsh bookseller Richard Booth, who is well known for his enormous contribution to the transformation of Hay-on-Wye ― a small community in Powys, Wales ― into a hub of second-hand books, will also give a speech and meet with Korean publishers.

In the 1960s Booth opened a small second-hand bookstore in the old fire station building of Hay, a small town of 1,000. He collected second-hand books from around the world, and eventually displayed his abundant collection at the store. Booth and his books soon received wide media coverage, and the town of Hay eventually gained its international reputation as the “Town of Books.”
Paju Book City, home to some 260 publishing companies in Korea, will host Paju BookSori Festival from Oct. 1 -9. (Paju BookSori Festival) Paju Book City, home to some 260 publishing companies in Korea, will host Paju BookSori Festival from Oct. 1 -9. (Paju BookSori Festival)

As this year marks the 110th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Literature, a special exhibition featuring the past winners will be held during the festival. Many personal items belonging to renowned authors will be displayed, including Ernest Hemingway’s typewriter, autographed photo of Doris Lessing, a personal letter written by Albert Camus, and a pair of glasses used by Hermann Hesse.

Another exhibition features the lives of six explorers of the Silk Road, including Hyecho, a Buddhist monk from Korea’s Silla Kingdom (B.C. 57-A.D. 935), and Marco Polo. Hyecho is famous for his travelogue “Wangocheonchukgukjeon,” which he wrote while traveling through India and other states of Central Asia. Professor Kwon Young-pil of Korea University, as well as Kim Ho-dong from Seoul National University will be at the exhibition to talk about the cultural and historical significance of the trade routes of the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected the world.

Meanwhile, an exhibition called “Asian Characters” delves into the origin of letters and characters of different Asian languages, showcasing the history as well as cultural links that tie each language to another.

Many performing artists will participate by bringing music to the festival as well, including Jang Ki-ha and Faces, Cho Young-nam, YB, and Park Hak-gi.

Numerous programs for children, including arts and crafts, theoretical play, book-making sessions, and Harry Potter-themed exhibition, also have been prepared for this year’s festival. For more information, visit www.pajubooksori.org.

By Claire Lee (dyc@heraldcorp.com)