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Land by Park Kyong-Ni
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Given its,length—the 1,167 pages translated, in three volumes, into English, are only one part of a five part epic—comparisons between Pak Kyung-ni's Land and War and Peace are inevitable. The titles, however, illuminate a key difference between the two epics. The two nouns in Tolstoy's title suggest, correctly, that the author is concerned with geopolitical wrangling of the sort that ends up in history books. Land, on the other hand, centers, as the title hints, on that fundamental thing the lust for which sometimes gives rise to wars, but is more often attended to by peasants than generals. Pak successfully creates for us a village in all its strength and all its pettiness populated by the sort of people who are not the actors of history (in the case of Land the Japanese colonization of Korea and the attendant bleeding dry of the peasantry) one finds in the Russian master's novels, but rather the acted upon. Pak's achievement in bringing them and their world to life is breathtaking. Land is one of the great national epics.
  dcozy | Jan 16, 2012 |
This book a while for me to get into as the style was unlike anything I was used to. But it became one of my all-time favourites. Only a small portion of this many volume classic of Korean literature has been translated into English. A roving tale told from many viewpoints, rich and poor, women and men, at a time when Korea was changing, and the impact of the Japanese on that country was just beginning to be felt in the countryside. ( )
1 vote thesmellofbooks | Nov 8, 2008 |
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Given its length — the 1,167 pages translated, in three volumes, into English, are only one section of a five-part, 6-million word epic — and given its scope, comparisons between Pak Kyung-ni's "Land" and Tolstoy's "War and Peace" are inevitable. The titles, however, illuminate a key difference between the two sagas.
added by dcozy | editThe Japan Times, David Cozy (Feb 26, 2012)
 
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