Tag Archives | South Korea

Jung Young Moon at Skylight Books (Los Angeles)

Join Jung Young Moon at Skylight Books in Los Angeles for a conversation about his newest Deep Vellum title, Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River.

In his inimitable, recursive, meditative style that reads like a comedic zen koan but contains universes, Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River recounts Korean cult writer’s Jung Young Moon’s time spent at an artist’s and writers residency in small-town Texas. In an attempt to understand what a “true Texan should know,” the author reflects on his outsider experiences in this most unique of places, learning to two-step, musing on cowboy hats and cowboy churches, blending his observations with a meditative rumination on the history of Texas and the events that shaped the state, from the first settlers to Jacky Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald. All the while, the author is asking what a novel is and must be, while accompanied by a fictional cast of seven samurai who the author invents and carries with him, silent companions in a pantomime of existential theater. Jung blends fact with imagination, humor with reflection, and meaning with meaninglessness, as his meanderings become an absorbing, engaging, quintessential novel of ideas.

Jung Young Moon, born in 1965, is an award-winning Korean writer and translator. A graduate of Seoul National University with a degree in psychology, Jung is also an alum of the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program, and has been a resident at the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Korean Study and the 100 West Corsicana Artists’ & Writers’ Residency in Texas, which inspired his novel Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River. Deep Vellum published his novel Vaseline Buddha in 2016, and will publish his linked novella trilogy Arriving in a Thick Fog in 2020.

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Jung Young Moon @ Malvern Books (Austin, TX)

Before_Cover_Consortium_CMYKJYM Twitter (7-17-15)

Jung Young Moon, South Korea’s award-winning, cult favorite, and most enigmatic contemporary author, a bestseller in France, Germany, and South Korea alike, comes to Austin to present his novels A Contrived World (Dalkey Archive, 2016) and Vaseline Buddha (Deep Vellum, 2016), which scrubs the depths of the human psyche to achieve a higher level of consciousness equal to Zen meditation. This tragicomic odyssey told through free association opens when our sleepless narrator thwarts a would-be thief outside his moonlit window, then delves into his subconscious imagination to explore a variety of geographical and mental locations—real, unreal, surreal—to explore the very nature of reality: from a treacherous flight in the mountains of Nepal to a park bench in Budapest to a bizarre conversation in Amsterdam to an encounter with an inflatable rubber dolphin floating in a small river in provincial France.

Vaseline Buddha is truly meaningful, rewarding literature. What makes this novel so fascinating is its permanent liminality and ambiguity: it is exactly the completely obvious which remains ultimately cryptic; it is exactly the linguistic hyper-precision which leads to confusion; it is exactly the “boring” stuff which becomes thrilling at another level; and it is exactly the humorous, ironic attitude of the author-narrator that proves his deep seriousness.

If the purpose of travel, in a way, is to shatter illusions about an unknown world, my travels are true to their purpose in that respect. A logic could be developed, a logic that’s perhaps forced, that it’s best not to travel at all in order to maintain an illusion, and in fact, when I considered traveling, I was always conflicted between maintaining an illusion by not traveling, and seeing an illusion get shattered by traveling.

Jung Young Moon‘s tour of the United States is made possible through the generous support of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

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Jung Young Moon U.S. Tour: Reading @ Dallas Institute of Humanities & Culture (Dallas)

Before_Cover_Consortium_CMYKJYM Twitter (7-17-15)

Jung Young Moon, South Korea’s award-winning, cult favorite, and most enigmatic contemporary author, a bestseller in France, Germany, and South Korea alike, comes to Dallas to present his novel Vaseline Buddha (Deep Vellum, 2016), which scrubs the depths of the human psyche to achieve a higher level of consciousness equal to Zen meditation. This tragicomic odyssey told through free association opens when our sleepless narrator thwarts a would-be thief outside his moonlit window, then delves into his subconscious imagination to explore a variety of geographical and mental locations—real, unreal, surreal—to explore the very nature of reality: from a treacherous flight in the mountains of Nepal to a park bench in Budapest to a bizarre conversation in Amsterdam to an encounter with an inflatable rubber dolphin floating in a small river in provincial France.

Vaseline Buddha is truly meaningful, rewarding literature. What makes this novel so fascinating is its permanent liminality and ambiguity: it is exactly the completely obvious which remains ultimately cryptic; it is exactly the linguistic hyper-precision which leads to confusion; it is exactly the “boring” stuff which becomes thrilling at another level; and it is exactly the humorous, ironic attitude of the author-narrator that proves his deep seriousness.

If the purpose of travel, in a way, is to shatter illusions about an unknown world, my travels are true to their purpose in that respect. A logic could be developed, a logic that’s perhaps forced, that it’s best not to travel at all in order to maintain an illusion, and in fact, when I considered traveling, I was always conflicted between maintaining an illusion by not traveling, and seeing an illusion get shattered by traveling.

Jung Young Moon‘s tour of the United States is made possible through the generous support of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

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Korea Recap: Seoul Man & K-Lit

Back in early December I was fortunate enough to participate in my third editors’ trip of 2014 (the other two were Germany & the Netherlands over the summer), this time to SOUTH KOREA! I started writing this blog post BEFORE CHRISTMAS and got sidetracked by the holidays, and then spent nearly all of January prepping The Art […]

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#GivingTuesday & BBC Recommends TEXAS

It’s #GivingTuesday, that magical day that falls just after the spending madness that mark Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Every donation goes directly towards furthering Deep Vellum’s mission, helping us sign and publish the greatest works of literature from around the world, hire the best translators, put on translation workshops and literary events across the world, and advocate […]

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