An Homage to the Bleak and Dismal World

Han Kee Hyung and Lee Hye-Ryoung, eds. Chŏsuha ŭi sigan: Ym Sang-sp ŭl ikta 저수하의 시간, 염상섭을 읽다 [Time under the heaven tree: Reading Yŏm Sang-sŏp]. Seoul: Somyŏng ch’ulp’an, 2014. ISBN: 9788956265896.

Heaven Tree offers justifiable and zealous attempts to commemorate Yŏm Sang-sŏp as a remarkable subject, one who was most acutely aware of the politics, society, and aesthetics of the period in which he lived. In addition, the twenty scrupulously researched and enlightening articles included in the collection unfold this attempt in a brilliant fashion, harking back to two earlier studies by Lee Bo-young and Kim Yun-sik. Those earlier books are the productive “ancestors” of Heaven Tree, in that the depth and magnitude of their reconstruction and reevaluation of Yŏm’s thoughts are analogous to what is achieved in this new collection. Nonetheless, as much as Heaven Tree is similar to its ancestors in terms of the passion and meticulousness demonstrated by the contributing authors, it proves to be a courageous offspring, as the authors further absorb, complement, and renew the existing research...

An Homage to the Bleak and Dismal World