On February 26 (Tuesday) at 16:00 you are invited to the presentation of the book “Užupio respublika” and its translation, which will be held in VMU History Hall (K. Donelaicio str. 58). During the presentation you will meet the author of the book, Korean writer Hailji (the original name Rim Jong Joo), translator from Korean Dr. Martynas Šiaučiūnas- Kačinskas, writer Kornelijus Platelis and researcher of  VMU Centre for Asian Studies Seo Jinseok.

The Korean writer, who has visited Lithuania several times, was inspired by the bohemian atmosphere of the district “už upės” (“behind the river”) in the capital city and in 2009 published the novel “Užupio respublika” (“Rebublic behind the river”), which is the first fiction book about Lithuania published in South Korea. Last year a screen script was written based on this book, and this year the book has been translated into Lithuanian. Naturally the novel of Korean writer, who has close ties with Lithuanian collegues, has finally reached Lithuanian audience. For any Lithuanian it is interesting to know how Lithuania is viewed by a person from a different cultural background, why this person was attracted by Lithuania, what did he find here appealing, unexpected or even mysterious, why our country became an inspiration to write the whole novel about it.

According to a close friend of Hailji, writer K. Platelis, the book “Užupio respublika” is a somewhat melancholic, mystical, humorous novel, talking about lost worlds, that are impossible to recover, about the past with unavoidable consequences. This novel offers a view of Lithuanian contemporaries from an angle of a stranger with different cultural background and provides us with an opportunity to look at ourselves with the eyes of the other.

Hailji was born in 1955 in Kyungju (South Korea), studied creative writing in Seoul, University of Chungang, obtained Master degree in French literature in Poitiers and PhD at the University of Limoges in France. Currently he works as a professor in Seoul,  University of Donguk, where he teaches creative writing. Hailji’s first novel “Way to the race lap” appeared in 1990 and received a positive acceptance in Korean world of literature. Later he published 12 novels, a piece in literature theory, two poetry selections (in English and in French), screen script, drama, selection of novellas. Two of his novels are adapted for movies, one is played in theatre. Hailji’ s dream is to release a movie featuring famous actors, and he has already written a sript for this movie.

More about the book:  Asian Studies in Lithuania website