Unanswered questions from my Translation Clinic

These are answers to questions we ran out of time before answering during the 19 Aug 2021 Center for Fiction Translation Critic (hosted by Cedilla & Co.) A video of the presentation and Q&A will be available soon. I was so intrigued by Anton saying how The Vegetarian and Cursed Bunny etc all of those books weren’t necessarily widely popular in their home countries until … Continue reading Unanswered questions from my Translation Clinic

The scary cute beautiful cover of Cursed Bunny

My PEN/Heim cover letter

*I’ve been asked a few times for my successful PEN/Heim application materials; here’s the part people seem to be curious (or confused) about the most, the cover letter. You can read the sample in the Honford Star edition of Cursed Bunny (the first three stories were my sample). Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, Outline and Significance Anton Hur Feminism is important. Women’s voices are important. … Continue reading My PEN/Heim cover letter

My Translation Method

SETUP: HARDWARE I use a 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro (refurbished, natch). My 32-inch curved Samsung monitor, Apple Magic Keyboard, and Apple Magic Trackpad are space gray to match the computer. I actually ordered a space gray MacBook by mistake—I thought Apple Store Korea online had run out of the silver refurbs—and space gray looks very butch to me and I’m more, to use the term … Continue reading My Translation Method

The Miuccia Prada Rule

Finding something you don’t like in a manuscript is always super interesting. Instead of deleting it, interrogate it. “Why do I hate this part so much?” It may lead you down a path where you discover something about the manuscript and, ultimately, yourself. And because I need to name everything, I call it the Miuccia Prada Rule. Prada always includes a texture she absolutely hates … Continue reading The Miuccia Prada Rule

Draft Drawer: “Translating the Korean Diaspora”

* The following is the first draft of a presentation I’d been planning to give, with two other translators, at the 2020 American Literary Translators’ Association conference on the topic of “translating the Korean diaspora.” While the conference itself was moved online instead of being canceled, my fellow panelists and I, in a haze of COVID–19 despair, decided not to go ahead with this particular … Continue reading Draft Drawer: “Translating the Korean Diaspora”

I Adopt a Work Routine

The trickiest part of adopting a work routine was learning to stop for the day. I would always want to do some extra pages while I had “momentum.” But I learned to resist this urge. I learned from some wise friends that chasing these feelings of “productivity” and “virtue” was foolish, especially when these feelings, which are just twisted forms of anxiety, had nothing to … Continue reading I Adopt a Work Routine

Korean Literature 101: A Reading List

*My high school English teacher asked me to put together a reading list of mostly contemporary Korean literature. This is what I gave him: 1. <100도씨> 100 Degrees Celsius by Choi Kyu-seok Genre: Graphic novel (historic fiction) Every list on contemporary Korean literature should start with this work, which describes the events leading up to the June Democracy Movement of 1987. Readers are given both … Continue reading Korean Literature 101: A Reading List