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It is a book about the translation process as much as it is about science fiction, Buddhism and how to live among people. Lovers’ stories are as powerful and clear as the stories in the middle are difficult and blurry, but the stories in the middle offer a kind of key to the outer stories: while the beings called Prophets who live in the Dark Realm are obsessed. by measuring the virtues of merging and dividing, the cursed lovers of our near future strive to come together as the world pulls them apart. The form and intention of the stories, pairs that make up two sets that are then explained in notes, echo the vanities of cell division, DNA, and quantum physics.

Put simply: While the outer stories are much more enjoyable and moving than the inner stories, they all benefit tremendously from the extra notes and leave the reader with the impression that the purpose of the book was not so much to present a collection of stories. but the love and respect between several people working together, sharing their minds through languages ​​and distance for a magnificent and dizzying effect.

In many ways, Angela Mi Young Hur FOLK (Erewhon Books, 408 pages, $ 26.95) also deals with translation: translation as physical movement, from Korea to the United States, from Sweden to Antarctica; secret knowledge translated across languages ​​and time; and translation as an interpretation across genres, from folk tales and family history to experimental physics and poetry.

Dr Elsa Park has spent years trying to distance herself as much as possible from her mother’s Korean myths, and with them, her mother’s belief that women in their families are doomed to repeat the patterns of tragic folk tales: stories of girls stolen or sacrificed, lost and recovered. Elsa is determined to choose science over superstition, but while searching for neutrinos – so-called ghost particles – in Antarctica, she succumbs to an old hallucination of ringing bells and a charming, mysterious woman. with red ribbons trailing from her long black braid. Unbalanced, Elsa directs her research towards reconciling the stories of her heritage with her scientific work, in order to find a way in – and more importantly, a way out – of her mother’s tales.

Elsa’s voice is an elegant punch to the face, a series of refusals – politeness, sympathy, all intimacy separate from brutality. She is shockingly cruel at times, almost helpless to people who try to be kind to her, as if speaking around a mouth full of broken glass. I found myself loving him for the mess of his overlapping truths, the mixture of resentment, fear, love and anger towards his family, coworkers, and future lovers.

The integral of “Folklorn” is a sense of both constitution and escape stories, of their ability to entrap people as much with faulty representation as with erasure. When Elsa was young, her mother told her that “all of our people told the bad stories, making a miserable mess of our history. … No wonder we have invasions and occupations, war. … What kind of stories, I wonder, do white countries tell about themselves? Once Elsa grows up, she unwillingly paraphrases her mother, claiming that “by limiting the history of the neutrino, we have limited our own cosmic existence.”


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