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SEOUL / PRAGUE - Kim Young-ha Greeted Czech Readers In a Virtual Launch of His Book

On Thursday 5th December 2013 Czech Centre Seoul and Czech Centre Praha connected in a live virtual launch of the new Czech translation from Korean, novel Your Republic Is Calling You (also known as Empire of Light) written by one of the most prominent contemporary Korean authors, Kim Young-ha.

(r-l) Kim Young-ha, Jaroslav Olša, jr. and Petra Hovorková in Czech Centre Seoul

The Czech translation Říše světla of the book is the second title in a series of ten Korean novels to be translated into Czech in coming four years. This series of modern and contemporary Korean literature is being published by leading Czech publishing house Argo (www.argo.cz) in cooperation with Literature Translation Institute of Korea (www.klti.or.kr).

(r-l): translator Tomáš Horák, Czech Centres press spokesman Petra Jungwirthová, Yun of Embassy of the Republic of Korea, Milan Gelnar, director of Argo publishing house

The author, Kim Young-ha, along with Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Jaroslav Olša, jr. and Petra Hovorková, Program Director at the Czech Centre Seoul (http://seoul.czechcentres.cz), presented the book in a unique literary event, held at the Czech Centre Seoul and transmitted through audiovisual connection to the Czech Centre Prague (http://prague.czechcentres.cz). Using webcamera and digital projection, the guests of the launch in Seoul and in Prague could virtually connect and follow the whole event together. In Seoul, an excerpt from the book was read in original by Kim Young-ha, and consequently, the following passage was read in Czech translation in Prague. Brief interview with the author revealed some of Kim Young-ha´s experiences and artistic influences related to the book. Finally, Director of Argo, Milan Gelnar, concluded with a congratulatory speech. Other important guests of the event were President of Literature Translation Institute of Korea, Kim Seong-kon, translator of the book, Tomáš Horák, and Dana Kalinová, Director of the biggest Czech book fair Book World (www.svetknihy.cz).

Kim Young-ha (1968) is one of the most famous Korean fiction writers out there. He debuted with the successful novel, I Have the Right to Destroy Myself, which led to him receiving the prestigious Munhakdongne Writer Award. Up to the present day, Kim has published numerous short stories as well as novels, and has been awarded almost all of the important literary awards available in South Korea. Kim Young-ha has become a respected figure of cultural spheres while also continuing his literary activity. Also, he now contributes to the International New York Times as a columnist.

The Republic Is Calling You  (빛의제국), a novel published in 2006, follows a story connecting North and South Korea through the eyes of a North Korean spy. After living in South Korea for many years in oblivion of his profession, the spy wakes up one morning with a message calling his return home to North Korea.