Summaries and reviews of fiction and nonfiction books by Korean American authors,
books about Korean Americans and Korea, and Korean literature in English translation,
including some academic works and a sampling on the Korean War
Monday, April 4, 2011
The Wings by Yi Sang
This slender volume of stories is by a famed Korean author from the colonial period, who died at age 27 with TB in Japan. He came to fame because his writing incorporated influences from French existentialism and Dadaism. As such, the stories are redolent of Cocteau and even Kafka, with an unreliable, not necessarily likable narrator, who merely reacts to the moment and lacks the traditions of male ambition and desire. Despite a few awkward instances in the translation, the deadpan yet richly descriptive voice of this unique modernist writer shines through.