Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Korean
Translated from: Korean
Authors: Hailji
Translated by: Šiaučiūnas-Kačinskas, Martynas
ISBN: 978-9986-39-877-6
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2016
Publisher: Lietuvos rašytojų sąjunga

The main character of a novel together with his wife comes to the seaside town to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. ( in the novel the name of the town is not mentioned, but for the character it is very well known and nostalgic.) At night, the man is suddenly  arrested by the police and taken to an unknown place to testify for a professedly committing a murder. A novel begins in an oppressive and stress-filled room. A bright light pointing in his face, handcuffed hands and the only …thought on his mind is why is he  falsely being accused for a crime he did not commit and being questioned absurd questions that are not related in clarifying the case? But having no other choice, the man diligently answers all the questions that are being asked.

Later on we get more clues about who the main character is: It is forty-three years old modern philosophy professor, who writes philosophy related books and lectures in the most prestigious university of Seoul. In a conversation between police officer and professor the identity of a victim who the man professedly killed comes out: It is the oldest brother of his wife – Kim Su Nam, who in the novel is reffered as  \’brother-in-law\’.

Plot in the novel is not consistent. Because of  the past (memories) and reality intertwining, the reader gets a little confused. The whole novel is a monologue of a main character. To be more precise, it is the answers for questions that the main character is being asked by the officers in the unknown and dark room: \’You are asking me to tell you what I mean in a more specific way? Excellent! If that is what you ask , I will do so.\’

The main mystery of the novel starts to emerge nearly at the end and that makes the reader more intrigued than ever. A serious illness, an illusion created by subconscious, who he can not let go of  and a painful reality is the so called \’key\’ that puts together the pieces and leads to solving the mystery of a murder.

Hailji (The real name Rim Jong Joo) (1955) – Famous author of the South Korea. He visited Lithuania many times and wrote a popular book known as \’The republic of Užupis\’ (2009). The author published thirteen novels, two novelettes and two collections of poems.Many movies and plays are being created based on his works. This novel could be interpreted as detective of nature unconscious, where the main character together with the reader find themselves in an unknown world. The place, where the two antithesis intertwine and the life/death distinction is very complex.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU