Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Review: Untold Night and Day

Untold Night and Day Untold Night and Day by Bae Suah
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"Just finish it," I chided myself. "It's only 160 pages, come on!" And thus I persisted.

Halfway through, last night, I drifted off into upright couch sitting deep sleep, where I had four intense nightmarish dreams in a row, and apparently moaned throughout (not in a good way.)

And I DO blame this book, which I can't make any sense of. I can't tell what's real or what's not. I can't understand how what seems imagined or historical in one scene is real in another. I don't understand how the characters seem to switch places and identities and also move between real and imagined (they also seem lost and confused.) I don't understand what is meant to be a deep connection to The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat, a short novel of similar tone I read earlier this year and also didn't understand.

The translator Deborah Smith has obviously gone deep with this author and this feverish style; apparently the author is considered an outsider in Korean lit as well. I might point you first to her translator note, which is the last few pages, before reading the novel. I give the translation efforts 5 stars.

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