26 April 2014

The Investigation by Lee Jung Myung

  • "‘Even if I wanted to tell everyone, I won’t remember. Soon enough I won’t even remember this moment.’ He smiled bitterly and traced a finger down the spine of each book, as though to engrave the title forever in his head. ‘Soon these titles will vanish from my mind. As though I’d never heard of them. At some point you’ll have to tell me that I once read such beautiful books.’ His breath, visible in the cold, drifted around his pale face. Each time he let out a breath, it was as though his soul were escaping."
  • Goodreads link.
  • Interview with author.
  • Beautifully written murder mystery that is really about how literature and poetry can change people for the better. Translation so good you wouldn't know this is Korean. Great book.
  • My rating : 5/5


Taichiseal said...


The sky of passing seasons
Is filled with autumn.
Without a single worry
I think I can count all the autumn stars.
The reason I can’t count all the stars carved
one by one in my heart is
because morning is coming,
because night will fall again tomorrow,
because my youth is not yet gone.
For one star, memory;
For one star, love;
For one star, loneliness;
For one star, longing;
For one star, poetry;
For one star, mother, mother.
Mother, I call out one beautiful word for every star. The names of the children I shared a desk with in primary school, the foreign names of girls, Pei, Jing, Yu, other girls who have already become mothers, the names of impoverished neighbours, dove, puppy, rabbit, donkey, deer, the names of poets like Francis Jammes and Rainer Maria Rilke.
They are so far away.
Like stars in the beyond,
And you, Mother –
you are in Manchuria far away.
Longing for something,
On top of the hill under falling starlight
I etched my name,
And covered it with dirt.
The insect that cries all night
Does because of its sorrow about its shameful name.
But after winter passes and spring dawns on my star,
On the hill where my name is buried
Grass will stand thick and proud
Like green grass blooming on a grave."

from 'The Investigation' by Jung-myung Lee

Taichiseal said...

"Man is in pain because he finds love too early, because he hasn’t seen someone for too long and because he discovers the truth too late."