The 14th LTI Korea Translation Award: In Search of Resonance

I began translating Korean literature when Korea was designated the Guest of Honor for the 2005 Frankfurt Book Fair. Selected as a co-translator for one of the books in the subsequent “One Hundred Korean Books” project, I engaged in literary translation for the first time in my life, which in turn led me to LTI Korea, who went on to support me in translating Korean fiction for the next decade. I am very happy and honored to be receiving such a significant prize from them for my translation of Seven Years of Darkness.


The original work is over five hundred pages long and the deadline was tight, but my pains bore fruit as the work garnered positive responses from German readers. It was wellreviewed in many periodicals, with the famous weekly Die Zeit choosing it as one of the best mystery novels of 2015.


They say translation is another form of creative writing. Translation is not simply an act of replacing words in one language for those in another; such an approach would yield nothing anyhow. The translator’s fate is to suffer through painstaking examination of not only the surface expressions of ...