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Category Archives: Korea Blog

Korea Blog: Finding a New Seoul in the Old Buldings of Kim Swoo-Geun, Architect of Modern Korea

Like many a Westerner with an interest in Korea (and without any stake in the relevant historical conflicts), I’ve also cultivated a parallel interest in Japan, and I find few things Japanese as interesting as I find Japanese architecture. Who, I began to wonder as I learned more about the architecture of Japan and the […]

Korea Blog: Kevin M. Maher’s English-Teaching Expat Novel “No Couches in Korea”

Korea has inspired several volumes of English-language travel writing, even narratives of extended sojourn in or repeat visits to the country over long periods of time, but a full-fledged, high-profile memoir or novel of the expatriate-in-Korea experience has yet to materialize. Kevin M. Maher’s No Couches in Korea, which recounts the experiences of a young […]

Korea Blog: Watching Korea Develop Through Sixty Years of Commercials

Not long after I moved to Korea, an American expat of decades’ standing described the country to me as approaching the end of its “long 1950s.” He meant, I think, that all the qualities we rightly or wrongly associate with America in the 1950s — family solidity, lifetime employment at large companies, robust economic growth, […]

Korea Blog: “Wangsimni, My Hometown,” a Gangster’s Pledge of Devotion to Korea

If you want to go see a movie in Seoul, you might well go to Wangsimni. Right above the neighborhood’s station on the central circular subway line stands a high-rise shopping complex whose multiplex theater boasts the largest IMAX screen in the country. It went up less than a decade ago, in 2008, but Seoul […]

Korea Blog: Nam June Paik and the Society of Screens

Video monitors started appearing on Seoul’s subway trains long before I arrived here. More video monitors — or, to be precise, old televisions — started appearing on those video monitors a few months ago, announcing a big show of the work of video artist Nam June Paik. (Paik made his name in the West, literally, […]

Korea Blog: the Freakishly Fluent Foreigners of “Non-Summit”

“Whatever you do,” fellow foreigners here in Korea occasionally tell me, “don’t go on television.” Easy enough advice to follow, you’d think, though many Koreans, upon meeting a Korean-speaking non-Korean, almost automatically insist that they should go right before the cameras. Flattery in the absence of anything else to say aside, the response reflects a […]

Korea Blog: Lost in Seoul, a New York Poet’s Memoir of Marrying into a Transforming Korea

Book-length first-person narratives by Westerners in Korea have so far come in two waves: one in the 1890s, and another in the 1980s. Or perhaps, given that they produced only a handful of works each, long-form first-person narratives by Westerners in Korea have had more like two splashes. But though few in number, these books […]

Korea Blog Podcast: Seoul’s Book Podcast that Draws Standing-Room-Only Crowds

Seoul-based essayist, broadcaster, & Los Angeles Review of Books Korea Blogwriter Colin Marshall joins Korea FM host Chance Dorland to discuss Lee Dong-jin’s Red Book Room (이동진의 빨간책방), a weekly podcast that since 2012 has been offering an hour and a half to over three hours of discussion of a particular, conversations with the authors themselves, […]

Korea Blog: Madame Freedom, the Movie that Scandalized Postwar Korea, Fifty Years Later

“Yasujiro Ozu,” writes critic Donald Richie in his study of the prolific and influential midcentury Japanese filmmaker, “had but one major subject, the Japanese family, and but one major theme, its dissolution.” The best-known of his many domestic dramas like Late Spring, Tokyo Story, and Good Morning dramatize that dissolution of the Japanese family as […]

Download KoreaFM’s Live Podcast with Me, Travis Hull of Only in Korea, and Robert Koehler of The Marmot’s Hole

Now available at KoreaFM’s site: Barry Welsh’s Seoul Book & Culture Club recently hosted a live podcast recording featuringKoreaFM.net podcast hosts. Marmot’s Hole blogger Robert Koehler, Los Angeles Review of Books’ Korea Blog writer Colin Marshall, notorious Facebook group Only in Korea creator Travis Hull & Korea FM founder Chance Dorland took the stage at the […]