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I Have The Right To Destroy Myself Paperback – 15 June 2007
In the fast-paced, high-urban landscape of Seoul, C and K are brothers who have fallen in love with the same woman—Se-yeon—who tears at both of them as they all try desperately to find real connection in an atomized world. A spectral, nameless narrator haunts the edges of their lives as he tells of his work helping the lost and hurting find escape through suicide. Dreamlike and beautiful, the South Korea brought forth in this novel is cinematic in its urgency and its reflection of contemporary life everywhere—far beyond the boundaries of the Korean peninsula. Recalling the emotional tension of Milan Kundera and the existential anguish of Bret Easton Ellis, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself achieves its author’s greatest wish—to show Korean literature as part of an international tradition. Young-ha Kim is a young master, the leading literary voice of his generation.
PRAISE FROM KOREA FOR I HAVE THE RIGHT TO DESTROY MYSELF
"[Kim's] novels are fragments of his amazing imagination. With uncommon creativity, grotesque images, and stories that build on and into each other like a computer game, he perplexes his readers as much as he delights them."--LEADERS KOREA literary magazine
From the Back Cover
A spectral, nameless narrator haunts the lost and wounded of big-city Seoul, suggesting solace in suicide. Wandering through the bright lights of their high-urban existence, C and K are brothers who fall in love with the same woman Se-yeon. As their lives intersect, they tear at each other in a struggle to find connection in their fast-paced, atomized world.
Dreamlike and cinematic, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself is a brilliant demonstration of why Young-ha Kim is Korea s leading young literary master.
Young-ha Kim has published three novels and numerous short stories. He teaches drama at the Korean National University of Arts and has received the Dongin Literary Award, the Isan Literary Award, and the Hyeondae Literary Award. He lives in Seoul."
- Publisher : HarperCollins US; Tra edition (15 June 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 132 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0156030802
- ISBN-13 : 978-0156030809
- Best Sellers Rank: 203,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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As someone who to some extent have a good knowledge of Korean popular cultures such as their food, music and dramas. The suicide rate in Korea is one of the highest in the world, so it was not surprising to read this book from the point of view of someone who encourages people to die.
As he said, he does not kill them himself, he does not necessarily put the knife in their hands, he almost wants us to believe that he gave these people courage in the last days of their lives.
Two themes take precedence in Judith, Evian, Mimi; desire and absurd fulfilment. He writes about his experience with these people, where he met them, how he vetted their desire and he helped them achieve their aim. He believes that life is not worth living and that he is doing a service to the world and the people he has helped but yet he has not helped himself.
I quote "There are two kinds of people. Those who can kill and those who can't. The second kind is worse. - People who can't kill can't ever truly love". He is the worse kind of person, he cannot love, he has in his own way been a thief, stealing his victim's hopes and dreams.
This book does not necessarily encourage murder or suicide as people seem to think. It just draws out morbid desires, imprisoned deep in the unconscious.
This is an engaging, short read which really initiates some quality thinking!