This book startled me, multiple times, in different ways.
This1 also startled me.
Translating as a hobby didn’t apply for me, as it wasn’t as though I happened to know Korean and thought I might as well have a go – my initial decision to learn a language, which happened to be Korean, was with a view to doing some translating somewhere down the line. And part of the reason I chose Korean as that language was that I suspected it would provide certain opportunities for getting work as a translator, given the almost complete dearth of Korean literature available in English, and the fact that I knew Korea was a highly-developed, modern country with – presumably – a flourishing publishing industry. Again, as I had no prior connection with, or investment in, Korea or Korean culture, it wasn’t so much an ambition to promote Korean literature overseas as the sense that there was a (relatively) untapped niche that I could exploit to my advantage!
Thank you, Han Kang, and thank you, Deborah Smith.