Thursday 2 February 2017

Villette and The Professor in Korean

The first Korean Villette was published in 1996, in a translation by Joel Lee. It was published by Ch'angjak kwa Pip'yŏngsa from Seoul. The title gives the sound of Villette, Pillett'ŭ in a transcription. The second translation’s title in transcription is Billette. This work was published in two volumes, of 270 and 218 pages. The covers were identical (apart from nrs. 1 and 2).

Cover of the 1996 Korean Villette
(Painting: Johannes Vermeer - Woman 
reading a letter  (ca 1663))

The second translation was published in 2010, in the ‘World Masterpieces Series’ (nrs. 28 and 29), by the Contemporary Culture Center from Goyang. Quite a number of the translated editions we have seen were published in some such sort of series. The translation was done by Lee Ningjin (I’m not entirely sure about this name and some others). It was again a work in two volumes (392 and 384 pages), with identical covers, apart from the numbers.

Cover of the first volume of the
2010 Korean Villette

Previously I had assumed that this book,

Cover of a 2015 Korean Villette
(Painting: Claude Monet - Impression,
soleil levant (1873))

was a third translated Korean edition. On closer inspection though the text turns out to be in English. It means that Villette and 2015 lose an edition.

The one and only translation of The Professor, by Bae Mi-Young was published in 2009 by Sponsorship Books (365 pp.), in the ‘Open Books World Literature’ series (nr. 96).

Cover of the 2005 Korean
The Professor

The other Brontë novels
Wuthering Heights was the first to be translated, its Korean version was published in 1959. Jane Eyre first appeared in 1961. Agnes Grey appears to be the only other novel to have been translated. It was published in 2007.

Eric Ruijssenaars

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