23 Following

The Moth Eaten Shelf

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high! ...But you don't have to take my, or Lamar Burton's, word for it. Just take a look, it's in a book.

Currently reading

The Backstory of Wallpaper: Paper-Hangings 1650-1750
Robert M. Kelly
Progress: 5/183 pages
Death of a Gossip
M.C. Beaton
Korean for Beginners: Mastering Conversational Korean (CD-ROM Included)
Henry J. Amen IV, Kyubyong Park
Visualize This: The Flowing Data Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics
Nathan Yau
Discovering Statistics Using R
Zoe Field, Andy Field, Jeremy Miles
Pushkin House (American Literature (Dalkey Archive))
Andrei Bitov, Susan Brownsberger
Beginner's Korean
Jeyseon Lee
La Nouvelle Héloïse: Julie, or the New Eloise
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Judith H. McDowell
Edith Wharton
Hermione Lee
Linear Models with R (Chapman & Hall/CRC Texts in Statistical Science)
Julian James Faraway

Black Flower

Black Flower - Young-Ha Kim, Charles La Shure Short Review: Interesting story on a little known piece of history. ...Makes me wonder if every major author has at least one work that is historical fiction.

Long Review
The backdrop of <<Black Flower>> is a departure from Kim's other translated work, shedding light on a relatively obscure piece of Korean and Central American history that brought a small group of Koreans unknowingly into Mexican slavery. The material is presented true to Kim's form, juggling a myriad of backgrounds and motivations that keep the plot moving without getting overly critical or sympathetic to any particular individual. The family historian in me wanted more information from and about the descendants Kim found ten years ago in 2003; wondering what stories got passed down and how much they knew of their (mixed?) cultural background.

The piece that irked me about this newly translated work is just that - the translation. Kim's previous works I have managed to get copies of (<<Your Republic Is Calling You>> and <<I Have the Right to Destroy Myself>>) were translated by Chi-Young Kim, whilst this work was done by Charles La Shure. There were parts, probably not more than five small lines, which of course I neglected to mark and cannot find now, that were translated with an English turn-of-phrase. I understand that there are many facets to consider when translating an author and that sometimes sacrifices need to be made. (see La Shure's interview here: http://publishingtheworld.com/2013/02/06/5-questions-with-charles-la-shure-translator-from-the-korean/ )
La Shure keeps true to Kim's form and style but these tiny little descriptions feel jarring to the story, reminding me I live in the present and not in this story.

The only other thing about the work that I wasn't in love with were the depictions of battle. This is mainly due to the fact wars and battles, whilst necessary, are simply not interesting to me, whether written or on the screen. Even the best scenes shot with the highest resolution and graphics bores me on the same level that guys feel about chick-flics.