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HEADING TO SOUTH KOREA - Ella Berthoud
Ella Berthoud
Ella is a bibliotherapist at The School of Life

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HEADING TO SOUTH KOREA

As we have been invited to South Korea to talk about Bibliotherapy, Suze and I are reading up on Korean literature. My first foray was into the darkly brilliant I Have the Right to Destroy Myself by Kim Young Ha. This was completely unpredictable, but nonetheless utterly compelling. The unnamed narrator who loves his victims but allows them to annihalate themselves appears to have nothing to offer to the world other than his novel about his victims. The metafiction draws you in, because you want to find out why he does what he does, but Young delicately draws out the drama, never giving away enough about any of the characters. The one we know best, perhaps, is Mimi, a performance artist who paints with her hair, and has a deep objection to being filmed. She is the most memorable character, and the narrator himself is the one we worry about Рthere is a horrible sense that he is waiting for you round every street corner, or in a museum, ready to catch you when you give too much a way while contemplating a nihilistic painting

 

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