Friday, October 3, 2008
The Yalu Flows by Mirok Lee
A 1900-1920s memoir of changing politics’ effect on the village life of a privileged only boy. The son of an educated, non-Christian father is sent for safety to a remote fishing village after his father’s death. Still, Japan’s influence and fears after the death of the King lingers. He schools in Seoul at a medical college sponsored by the Japanese, where Western thinking is still so young, and Axis politics have entered the world theatre, that medical textbooks had to be imported from Germany. He attempts to travel west to Europe and eventually, his mother sends him north to Mukden and at last he lands in Bavaria, protected from Japanese influences. Small gem of cultural life of that era.