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- Item/ISBN: 9788937481093
- Year: 2006
- Pages: 279
- Language: Korean
- Class: Buch
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Lee Mun-yeol is one of the best-loved and most steady-selling authors on the Korean literature scene.
The 59-year-old however is not new to controversy -- his works have often created a stir. His 1997 novel "Choice" (Sontaek), for example, drew fire from feminists for its apparent defense of the patriarchal and Confucian relationship between men and women. The veteran novelist is hated by progressives and supporters of President Roh Moo-hyun, whom he labels the "Red Guards." Lee defines recent years as "the leftists’ coming out period," during which a "gross Korean-version of a Cultural Revolution has been under way." Lee is a self-claimed conservative intellectual. He tried his hand in politics by working on a screening panel of candidates for the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) during the 2004 parliamentary elections.
Now his latest three-volume novel, "Homo Executans," marks a peak in his political statements made through literature. The Latin title places an emphasis on nature of humans as executors, he says. With its plot and through the characters’ narratives, Lee pours out his remarkably intense distrust and detest for the current government as well as what he views as pro-North Korean, nationalistic sentiments among the public. He believes that there is careful manipulation by behind-the-scenes forces. The book’s protagonist, Shin Sung-min, is a disillusioned former student activist and a 30-something stockbroker at a securities firm in Seoul. Through Shin, Lee often voices his own opinion on a range of social issues that emerged in Korea during the early 2000s. The massive crowds’ cheering for the national squad during the 2002 World Cup games, for example, seemed like calculated mass manipulation made possible by "combining the war-like nature of sports games and nationalist sentiments, and mobilizing so-called netizens whose brains go on and off just like digital signals."