The Korea Herald


Daesan Foundation to support translation of five foreign literary gems for Korean readers

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Dec. 14, 2023 - 19:13

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“The Torch in My Ear” (left) by Elias Canetti and “The Torch in My Ear” (left) by Elias Canetti and "Under the Yoke" by Ivan Vozov (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, JiaHu Books)

Bulgarian writer Ivan Vozov's "Under the Yoke," one of the best-known works of classic Bulgarian literature, is among five foreign literary works selected for the 2023 Grants for Translation of World Classics, the Dasan Foundation said Wednesday.

The works selected have yet to be released in Korean due to difficulty in translation or lack of commercial interest. “The Torch in My Ear” by Elias Canetti, “Virgin Soil” by Ivan Turgenev, an essay collection from Lu Yin, and “Evening Clouds” by Junzo Shono have been chosen alongside "Under the Yoke," with the latter three being translated into Korean for the first time.

“The Torch in My Ear,” the second volume in the Nobel laureate Canetti’s trilogy of memoirs, will be translated from German to Korean by Kim Jin-sook. The book recounts Canetti's young manhood, his arrival in Vienna in the early 1920s, his schooling and the beginning of his life as a writer.

Turgenev’s “Virgin Soil,” his sixth and final novel, follows a young man and a young woman, torn between love and politics, who struggle to make headway against the complacency of the powerful, the inarticulate misery of the powerless. Kim Seon-an will translate the Russian novel into Korean.

An essay collection by Lu is to be translated from Chinese into Korean by Ha Na-eun. Lu is recognized mainly as a fiction author and feminist rhetorician whose writings aimed to highlight social injustices and the difficulties faced by Chinese women in the 20th century.

“Evening Clouds” by Shono observes one family's experiences getting used to a new home atop a windy hill near Tokyo while residential developers threaten to destroy the surrounding landscape. Oh Ha-na will translate the book from Japanese.

"Under the Yoke" by Ivan Vazov, to be translated by Jekal Hyun-woo from Bulgarian, depicts the Ottoman rule of Bulgaria, following the story of Boicho Ognyanov, who, having escaped from a prison in Diarbekir, returns to a Bulgarian town to take part in the rebellion.

Each translator will receive funding ranging from 6.5 million won to 10 million won. Royalties will be given separately upon publication.

The Daesan Foundation, the organization founded by Kyobo Life Insurance, has supported the translation of foreign literary works into Korean since 1999. Through its initiative, 160 titles (185 books) have been published in Korean under the “Daesan World Classics” series by Moonji Publishing Co.