2014 Seoul International Writers’ Festival
The 2014 Seoul International Writers’ Festival was held from 21 to 27 September in Jeju Island and Bukchon, Seoul. This year marked the fifth iteration of the biennial literary festival organized by LTI Korea and was attended by twenty-eight Korean and international authors. The theme of the festival this year was “Eros and Dream.”       After a two-day trip to Jeju, the writers arrived in Seoul and took part in “Free Talks” and “Book Reading” sessions in Bukchon. The highlights of the festival this year were the special performances based on the short stories and poems of the writers, including plays, pansori, a mime act, modern dance and so on.    Among the writers in attendance this year were G. Ayurzana, author of the Mongolian bestseller, Legend of the Shaman, and Japanese writer Yoko Tawada, winner of the Goethe Medal and Adelber von Chamisso Prize, and Korean writers Kim Tae Yong, Hwang Jung Eun, Kim Haengsook, and Kang Jeong.       Through the book readings and performances on the theme of “Eros and Dream,” the writers were able to share their literary vision and their life stories with each other and the audience.     The writers were taken on a Night Tour of Seoul on Thursday, 25 September. They enjoyed the nightlife at representative tourist spots of Seoul like Namsan, Gwanghwamun Square, and Gwangjang Market.     The interaction between young Korean and international authors attracted the attention of the news media, and the press interviewed a few international authors who are popular in Korea as well.     The 2014 SWIF concluded with a Farewell Dinner on Sunday, September 27.     SIWF is expected to grow and become the representative international literary festival of Korea, facilitate exchanges between Korean and international authors, and help promote Korean literature to the world.   Visit the 2014 SIWF website for more details: siwf.klti.or.kr
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  • ▲ ▲The writers in attendance
[Translation Academy] Regular Course Students take part in Temple Stay Program
Fifteen students attending the Regular Course at LTI Korea’s Translation Academy took part in a temple stay program from 20 to 21 September at Yongjusa Temple in Hwaseong city in Gyeonggi province where they experienced Buddhist culture amid the pristine settings of the Hwaseong region.   Before visiting the temple, the students dropped by Yungneung and Geolleung, the most magnificent royal tombs of the Joseon era where Crown Prince Sado and King Jeongjo are buried. They also enjoyed the beautiful surroundings of the tombs.     After entering Yongjusa, the students learnt the basic etiquettes of the temple. Korean children who were also taking part in the festival were fascinated by the presence of foreigners in the temple and asked to take photographs with the academy students.       In the afternoon, the students were taken on a tour by the temple supervisor. Yongjusa was built during the Silla dynasty and was destroyed in a fire during the second Manchurian invasion in 1636. Jeongjo, the twenty-second King of the Joseon Dynasty, rebuilt the temple to honor his father Crown Prince Sado’s memory, and thus the temple is also known as the “temple of filial devotion.” It was a good opportunity for the students to experience the beautiful Korean culture of filial piety as well as to view the glorious culture heritage of Korea including the Bronze Bell of Yongjusa Temple, which is National Treasure No. 120.     On the second day, the students performed 108 kowtows, cleaned the temple premises, and took part in a tea ceremony. They then headed to Hwaseong Haenggung Palace, which was the venue for the 60th birthday feast of King Jeongjo’s mother Lady Hyegyeong.     Finally, the students visited the Hwaseong Fortress, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The fortress is a cultural heritage that symbolizes King Jeongjo’s filial devotion and his love for his subjects.     The experience of Korea’s culture of filial piety that the students gained through this field trip to the Hwaseong region (including Yongjusa Temple, Hwaseong Haenggung Palace and Hwaseong Fortress) will help in their translation of Korean literature.
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  • ▲ ▲Fifteen students attending the Regular Course at LTI Korea’s Translation Academy
Korean Literature featured at Place aux nouvelles
LTI Korea organized special events in Paris and Aix-en-Provence from 12 to 18 September as part of the “Place aux nouvelles” literary festival in France.   Oh Jung-hee and Lee Seung-U, authors of Chinatown and Midday’s Glance respectively, took part in the festival.   The first event was held on Friday, 12 September at the Centre Culturel Coréen. Commemorating the publication of the French translations of their works, both authors read out excerpts from their works and then had a Q&A session with the audience. The venue was packed with people, which demonstrated the great interest of French readers in Korean literature.     The second event was held on the next day at the venue of the “Place aux nouvelles” festival. The authors took part in a Q&A and book signing session. They introduced their newly published works and communicated with the readers directly. The response from the French readers was great.         The third event was held on Tuesday, 16 September. The authors took part in an informal gathering with the French press and publishers and discussed their newly published works, Chinatown and Midday’s Glance, as well as previously published French translations of their works.    Author Oh Jung-hee had to return to Korea the next day because of a personal schedule. Author Lee Seung-U travelled to Aix-en-Provence and took part in a book launch at Librairie Goulard, France’s top bookstore. Jean-Claude de Crescenzo hosted the event. After a book reading session, the author conversed with the numerous people who flocked to the event.     The final event was held on Thursday, 9 September at Aix-Marseille University where the young intellectuals of France are said to study. Jean-Claude de Crescenzo moderated the event once again. Author Lee Seung-U gave a lecture on Korean literature, after which he interacted with the French students.     Among all European countries, Korean literature has been most actively introduced in France. In fact, the interest of French readers in Korean literature is so great that a Korean book was among the bestsellers in France last year. The events organized by LTI Korea as part of the “Place aux nouvelles” festival will only add fuel to this interest.
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  • ▲ ▲At the Centre Culturel Coréen

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