The soil by Yi Kwang-Su

IMG_6520Set in Wonju, South Korea. Reviewed on 2018/02:

The #koreanversion/response to Tolstoy. That’s as succinct as I can get in describing this 500-pages #historicalfiction saga. In the vein of other #national identity forming type of books, #thesoil veers toward defining and forging the “real” and new people of #korea Despite its too patriotic overtones for my taste, there are three things I loved about this book. #yikwangsu was without a doubt a skillful and highly sophisticated writer. At no time you loose sight of the several dozens of characters in and out of the plot. Also the characters are painted as human and realistic as possible with all that that entails: contradictions, unbridled passions and impulses. Finally the main character here is after all a #lawyer And whatever cartoonish and stereotypical image you might have of lawyers, you have to put yourself in the #historical drama and context here. To me the idea of portraying a lawyer resonates with the idea of #justice#fairness and how to make structural changes which would lay the ground for the country to come. Sadly when you read about the tragic demise of Yi Kwang-Su is almost impossible not to see some eerie parallels with the story. #highlyrecommended #koreanliterature#libraryofkoreanliterature #dalkeyarchives#seoul #salyeoul #japaneseoccupation #이광수 #흙 #서울

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