ARTS COUNCIL KOREA

Literature

National Centre for Writing

Residency Program

British Norwich

Introduction to Residence Institution

Norwich is quite a big city in the county of Norfolk Province of the UK. It is the city of literature designated by the UNESCO and is home to the University of East Anglia. In entire city, old buildings of 15th and 16th centuries still remain to give such a feeling that the city has never suffered the bombardment of war. The hosting institute of the Residence Program is the National Center for Writing in downtown Norwich, which building was used for a storage by one merchant to have been repaired and maintained. The name of the hall is Dragon Hall where major program of the center is in actual operation. There is in fact a decoration of a dragon shape hung on the right wall at the center of the Great Hall. The accommodation of writers is attached to the main building of this center, which is called as "Writers' Cottage". Norwich is the city of W.G Sebald who involved in the establishment of the British Centre for Literary Translation in 1989 at the UEA Research Park, which is the institute for the translation of creative literature. At a gallery in Norwich Castle, it is available to appreciate photos taken directly by Sebald when he stayed in Norwich. Of course, he took photos of seashore toward his hometown in Germany. At the National Centre for Writing in Norwich, around 10 staffs are working. The Associate Programme Director Kate Griffin usually plays a role of communicating with visiting writers and helping and directing their general stay. Also, there is a staff who takes care of the entire plan for the program of visiting writers such as a public reading. There are staffs who help assisting necessary parts for daily life and office works. It is available to receive professional help from the professor of the major in creative literature and arts who plays a role of Schweitzer in the National Center for Writing. They are all very kind and respect writers. They are ready to listen writers' crude English faithfully who are not familiar with British accent of little bit wriggling end of speech. The city is presumably governed by a stable atmosphere with the people who crave excessively for football and literature and moreover have keen interest in translation. The noise heard on Friday night is a shout from young men who are going to drink near the Norwich Train Station. Other than that, the city is very quiet. Norwich Soccer Team ranks about 19th in Premier League. I heard Son Heung-Min would visit here next Spring. Their fervent affection on soccer made it possible to hold a ceremony of East Anglian Book Awards 2019 Literature at the football stadium. The ceremony is unforgettable scene at Norwich which proceeded for 4 hours with the background of the spotless football pitch.

Major activities of residency programs

(workshop, creative activities, network establishment, etc.)

I organized a tight schedule before I went there because I could not fill the whole month during my designated stay out of my personal schedule. Except one program, I participated in all programs arranged by the National Centre for Writing. UEA Live Program was the best where Malaysian Chinese writer Tash Aw (Author of Harmony Silk Factory) participated. It was the program where young students and even professional writers came to read poems and novels. Also, I went to see the public reading of Norwegian writer Hanne Østavik held at a bookstore Book Hive in downtown Norwich. It was marvelous to see that residents of Norwich came to listen to the reading of books and unceasingly discussed the translation with the writer. Hanne gave a writer Kim HaeYeon and me a warm welcoming word saying her book was also sold in Korea. It seems writers become so excited when they meet with the writers of the same work. I still remember that I had a conversation with George Szirtes, a famous writer and translator, and a board member at the National Centre for Writing, on different topics over a cup of coffee. Suddenly, fire broke out in the coffee shop kitchen and emergency siren kept ringing, but Mr. George continued talking passionately even in such a moment. The most memorable writer was Margie Orford whom I met together with Kate. The sincere conversation among female writers was chic and comfortable. It was impressive to exchange bisou leaving each other. I heard a lecture to learn highly practical knowledge. It was the lecture necessary for writers who are seeking for an agent. I left the lecture not only because the lecturer spoke too fast but also I did not want to find the place of next appointment at dark in November of fast sunset. Next day, Mr. Wilson told his friend that Korean writers left earlier from his lecture. I told the friend of the lecturer that I left not because the lecture was not interesting but because the sun set fast.

I always look for any archive of female cultural writers in any city at first. At this time, luckily I was able to visit Doris Lessing Archive who is the author of Golden Note Book. Before I went to Norwich, I sent my intention of much interest in female archives. The associate programme director Kate directly introduced me archive and exhibition by onsite contact with a professional archivist of British modern writers. As it was the 100th commemoration exhibition of Doris Lessing who was born in 1919, its scale was big with interesting contents. It is easy to presume that people born in those days were not able to have much good time. The life of Doris Lessing was not different. It was good time to look at the life of one writer who studied, read and wrote even under difficult time. Related program was also held at the Millennium Library in downtown Norwich. It was the place where a professor of UEA and students came to discuss the theme of nowness of Doris Lessing's literature with residents of Norwich. Doris Lessing was not from Norwich. She lived in London from 1949. The archive was created in the college through personal relationship with the professor of creative literature and arts in UEA. Besides Doris Lessing, the Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro graduated from UEA. From this city came Julian of Norwich who wrote and published for the first time in the UK and a female sociologist Harriet Martineau who founded a basis of feminism since the man-centered Victoria Era. I went to London on November 27 and held a Book Club Event at the Korea Culture Center in London. It was really good to look at sceneries from the train. It reminded me of the background of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel. It rained at any time, and it rained a lot on the day of event. Earlier, I purchased my novel Rina translated by the Korea Culture Center from Amazon and distributed them to participants in advance. So in fact, I had expected tricky questions to be made. Mainly about 30 young students, researchers, and readers came to the event. Until the autograph event, it took almost two hours. The researcher of Korea-Japan proletariat literature Elizabeth Grace took parts of a presenter for the event and English reading, and a professional translator Noh Sae-Hyun interpreted. Part of a short novel From Mullae (Included in Dumbbell at Night) was read which was translated by Janet Hong a writer and translator for The White Review(2019. No.25) of the British Literature and Arts Magazine. I usually think that it is a miracle to see when my novels are translated to other languages and read by readers of other countries. So called refugees may act as a background of acute issue, but undoubtedly, it seems that young foreigners love Korea because of BTS. At the autograph event, I brought ten bilingual edition of a novel Truck published in Korea and gave them only to students as a gift.

  • The icebreaker, the Araon, is South Korea's first polar probe that began operating in 2009.
    01.

    Norwich is a fairly large city in England in Norfolk, England, and is a UNESCO-designated literary city centered around the University of East Anglia.

  • The icebreaker, the Araon, is South Korea's first polar probe that began operating in 2009.

Residence programs and other matters

(uch as accommodation, local culture, etc.)

First of all, the prices are high. It is good because there is no tipping culture in restaurants and no fee for using toilet. Still prices are high. There is one person who comes to clean the cottage for two writers once a week. She also cleans all recycled wastes. Water pouch, ironing tool, umbrella, and hair dryer are provided well for cold weather. In a small house, everything is provided, so that there is no need to prepare anything. If anyone needs a separate work room, they will prepare a room in the Center for Writing. I did not use a separate work room because I did not write novel at Norwich Korean students of UEA help the translation for the event. It is better to share the contents to translate in advance. If it is possible to know the contents of presentation topics in advance, it is better to prepare the English translation and read directly or ask other native speaker to read. The Center told that there are many translators but not enough interpreters.

When I departed Korea, instead of going to Norwich via London, I transferred from Amsterdam Airport in Netherlands and got off at Norwich Airport. If I used Korean Airline, the arrival at Norwich would be late at night. If I traveled through Amsterdam, I would arrive at Norwich in the morning after the day of departure in favor of time parallax. Thankfully, Kate Griffin came to see me at the airport. When I returned to Korea, I stayed in London for few more days after the end of events in London, and took nonstop Korean Airline at Heathrow Airport. It is safe to go to pubs at night in Norwich or London. When I pretended to read books and drink beer alone, no one tried to talk to me. Traveling from Norwich toward northeast by train for about 40 minutes will take you to Cromer or Sheringham to see the sea. All of you, go to the sea!

The icebreaker, the Araon, is South Korea's first polar probe that began operating in 2009.
02.

I was able to visit the Doris Reading archive.

I hope you don't have a fear of English.

The icebreaker, the Araon, is South Korea's first polar probe that began operating in 2009.
03.

It's enough to experience for a certain period of time how writers write and survive in an environment different from ours.

It's enough to experience for a certain period of time how writers write and survive in an environment different from ours.

What do you want to say to writers interested in the residency program?

It is better not to fear of English language. As there are many translators, you will easily come up with someone who speaks Korean. Isn't it natural that Korean writer cannot speak English? Also, it is not just they cannot speak. Rather, they do not want to look funny but to do well. As we are writers, aren't we unique in self consciousness of language? Hence, we do not just say the word! Therefore, we write down English words we need and understand necessary words spoken by. If they cannot understand, we will say again and just have to endure until they can understand.

Before travelling, it is better to think about specific details of what to do at Norwich and to communicate with the Center for Writing. They will help you if you think and tell them about your own interest in advance, the places you wish to visit, and the kinds of people you wish to meet. They will make a reservation for a certain place to visit and tell prior information. Also, they recommend to bring and donate Korean books of a writer himself to the Center for Writing. They will tell you the number of copies after prior discussion.

UK is a strong country in terms of publishing and literature. The book publishing and distributing system in the UK is somewhat different from that in Korea. The distribution in the UK is mainly centered on the copy right and much profit comes out of it. Under the environment of different system from us, it is sufficient to experience for a certain period of time how writers write the stories and survive.

The icebreaker, the Araon, is South Korea's first polar probe that began operating in 2009.

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