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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
“Mr. Lee,” the screenwriter called for Pyung Jin, the book critic.
Staring intently at the book resting on top of his thigh for a little while, he looked up and answered, “Yes?”
“Here’s your script.”
They were at the waiting room for the show “The Great Book Club,” and Pyung Jin had been waiting for the filming to start. Though usually he wouldn’t have minded conversing a little longer, he was somewhat in a hurry and he secretly wanted the writer to leave him be.
“What you reading there?”
Unfortunately, the writer didn’t seem to be aware of Pyung Jin’s wish to be left alone. At that, Pyung Jin put on a forceful smile and answered, “Kelley Coin.”
“Oh! I read his books a lot too! Which one are you reading?”
At Pyung Jin’s answer, the expression on the writer’s face changed. He had to know who had translated the book.
Like a lot of other people, the writer was also a Yun Woo fan. By that point, it was more difficult to find people who didn’t read his books, and the author’s record spoke for itself as he managed to convince those who viewed him with doubt and preconceived notions by publishing a book under yet another alias, Won Yi Young. The author had proved to his readers that he was not being overestimated, and there had been no other authors as mysterious and as aggressive thus far. He was truly one of a kind, and people were bound to be drawn to uniqueness.
“I didn’t get to go to the bookstore because I was caught up with work, so I bought it from an online bookstore. I should be getting it by tonight.”
“That’s a bummer.”
“Right? I was contemplating whether I should go to the bookstore during lunch or not, but man, has it been a busy day!”
The writer kept on for quite a while, and Pyung Jin didn’t have the skill to cut the conversation short politely, so he had no choice but to listen to him. He was a coworker who was and would be working with the critic, and a sour relationship was bound to have a negative impact at work.
‘All right, why don’t we stop right there? If you don’t mind, I’d like to go back to reading this book translated by Yun Woo. As far as I can tell from the little time I had to read it, this is really something, and what I mean is that this would be the most Coin-like translation among other translated versions of his books. Now, I beg you to go bother someone else. I’d like to be left alone,’ Pyung Jin imagined himself telling the writer those words.
“That restaurant has really good pho. You should go try it one of these days, Mr. Lee.”
“Yes, of course.”
Despite wondering when the subject had changed, Pyung Jin answered as he loosened his purple tie to unwind from the anxiety prior to filming. At that moment, yet another person came into the room.
Being one of the hosts of the show, the lady greeted the two people calmly, unlike her usual attitude behind the camera. As she looked around the waiting room and saw the look on Pyung Jin’s face, she grasped the situation immediately.
“Were you having a word with Mr. Lee?”
“Yes. We were talking about what to get for lunch.”
“Oh, I brought my lunch today.”
“So, I happen to find this really good pho place. Would you like to come along sometime in the near future?”
“I’d love to.”
After conversing with the host for a little while, the writer left the room, and Pyung Jin cheered internally as he let out a quiet sigh and redirected his attention to his book.
Pyung Jin tended to be rather sensitive to translations. While his job did contribute to that, he had seen too many books that were ruined by poor translations. The mistranslations that he saw from time to time were especially atrocious to his eyes. Because of the sensitive nature of writing, a single poorly translated sentence was more than enough to damage the overall quality of a book. One sentence led to another, like a chain reaction.
Mistranslations were like harmful insects that gnawed away at strings that were connected precariously. They rendered the book lifeless when it should be full of life, and the readers got to experience that first hand. It was less than flattering. For those reasons, Pyung Jin made a habit out of checking the name of the translator and publishing company when buying a translated copy of a book, which was also why he wasn’t all that happy to find out that the young genius author was getting his hands on translating.
Yun Woo was an author, and translations were not an easy task by any means. It required training, and even the most seasoned of translators was bound to make mistakes from time to time. Because of that, there was no way to know how things would turn out for a young author like Yun Woo, who carried a bigger presence than just about anyone. It was a mystery whether such an author would be able to stay out of the way of Coin’s voice in his sentences.
As far as Pyung Jin knew, the translation had been requested to Yun Woo by Kelley Coin himself. It was unclear as to what the eccentric author had had in mind, but the critic was certain that the gig would be the bane of the young author’s existence. While the readers were going wild over the collaboration, Pyung Jin was disappointed all the more as he assumed that the joint effort between the two authors would result in a bitter end.
The critic exclaimed as he barely managed to suppress the excitement that was welling from within. He took pride in his love of literature and he cherished books as much as he loved them. In order to better understand the subject of his love, he studied them as much as possible, and he had been making regular appearances on TV to spread that same love to others.
Pyung Jin read fanatically. Having already read the original, he was taken aback by how similar of a reading experience the translation was offering. It was fascinating, and translations of such quality were a rarity. Yun Woo had a talent in surprising people.
“Mr. Lee, we’re about to start filming.”
At that, the critic found himself unwilling to leave the room as he wanted to keep on reading. He wanted nothing else besides indulging in the collaboration of the two world-renowned authors.
Unfortunately, he had no choice, He was a responsible adult who was part of a society. He had to make money while protecting his credit and he couldn’t let his desires get the best of his work-life. At the same time, he wanted to keep those desires as close to him as possible.
“There seems to be a lot of mentions of Yun Woo today,” the critic said to the screenwriter, who seemed like he had just finished talking about the Vietnamese restaurant.
“Well, that’s always a plus! Thanks to our viewers’ interest in Yun Woo, our show’s been growing in popularity.”
With his eyes sparkling, Pyung Jin went into filming.
When people heard that Yun Woo was translating a book, most of them often responded in two ways: With doubt, or they looked forward to it.
“I wanted to see you crying like a baby after failing miserably,” Coin said as he clicked his tongue.
The fifth book of the collection was published, and Juho held his phone on one hand, while holding a book from the publishing company with a design unique to the ‘Kelley Coin Collection’ in the other.
”Belongings,’ written by Kelley Coin. Translated by Yun Woo.’
“Does that mean you’re satisfied with the result?”
At that, Coin snickered and said, “Yes. Too much so. People around me talk about nothing but Yun Woo, and I’m getting sick of it.”
Then, a slurp came from Juho’s receiver. Coin had to be drinking his coffee.
“The critics and translators over in Korea had such good reviews that I think it rubbed off on the people on this side of the world. Just like how your fame is next to none in your country, you’re slowly getting known in the US as well.”
“Whoever told you about my fame being next to none?”
“I’ve been getting interview requests from Korea nonstop. Those people couldn’t stop talking trash about me when I wasn’t writing as much.”
There was no trace of anger in his voice. Rather, he sounded like he was explaining what he saw.
“I’m certain that they want to hear a thing or two about you from me, dying to know what’s underneath that mask of yours.”
As much as the meeting between the two authors had been sensational, both authors refrained from sharing about it too much. Although they never actually agreed to do so, it was a natural occurrence.
“Translation is an odd thing. The more you erase traces of you, the more attention you get.”
“Did you know what translation was about beforehand?”
“No, I had some help.”
Then, Coin clicked his tongue once again. By that point, it became obvious that Coin had intentionally kept crucial information from the young translator. The process of translation often involved dealing with urges to make changes or improvements to the preexisting sentences, as well as the fact that the author’s intent had to remain intact.
“Thank to you, I was able to read the book I translated from cover to cover.”
Juho had read the book as soon as he received it from the publishing company. Normally, he wouldn’t have gotten past the first page. Yet, he was able to keep reading as he checked his translation word by word. Just like that, although having read it tens of times for reference while translating, he had read the entire book at once.
It was a book written by Coin, and it belonged solely to Coin. Juho was successful in respecting the author’s creative boundaries, and there was no trace of Yun Woo anywhere in the translation.
“What are you talking about?” Coin asked.
“I mean, I’m happy about my translation,” Juho said with a smile.
“Yun Woo, the first translator to be personally requested by Kelley Coin, exceeds all expectations.”
“A closer look at the recent, critically acclaimed translation by Yun Woo.”
“The sixth volume of ‘Language of God’ published, leaving readers anticipating for the grand finale.”
“Yun Woo vs. Won Yi Young. The winner?”
“Won Yi Young’s recent success as a translator proves the author’s language skills.”
“The rise of a new prolific writer. Closer look at Yun Woo as an author.”
“The leading figure in prolific writing, Kelley Coin. Who are the top prolific writers?”
“Riding the wave of the Yun Woo fever, “The Great Book Club” prepares for a ‘Yun Woo Special.'”
“A sneak peek at the next week’s “The Great Book Club: Yun Woo Special” and the special guests.”
“‘The Great book club?'”
Juho asked as he picked up a piece of meat that was burning on his side of the grill. He was meeting with Sang Young for a meal for the first time in a long time. Because Sang Young was stuffing his mouth with food, Juho had to wait until he was done chewing.
“Yeah. I heard Myung Joo is gonna be there.”
Sang Young said. Myung Joo Mu was the actor who rose to fame after playing the role of Yun’s brother in the movie ‘Trace of a Bird.’
“You mean the ‘Yun Woo Special?'”
Like they had hinted in the past, the show was actually doing a special episode on Yun Woo, and the fans anticipated it anxiously as the TV showed the preview repeatedly and articles poured out through other media.
“Did they contact you at all?”
“The publishing company turned it down for me.”
The publishing company didn’t really have a reason to be against the author making an appearance on the show as it would be an effective means of advertisement. It was a common occurrence for books to sell at an increasing rate after being mentioned at the show.
Then, Sang Young said, “You won’t have to worry about Myung Joo spilling the beans about you. He doesn’t really wanna be there either. As you know, the show’s been doing well as of late, and it even won an award recently. The station seems to be supporting them quite a bit too.”
Although Juho knew hardly anything about the field, he did know that nobody was exempt from having to do the things that they didn’t want to, and he didn’t pay all that much attention.
“I’m not worried as long as we keep things at the level of your past interview.”
“He might not seem like it, but Myung Joo is the type to worry a lot.”
Juho had met Myung Joo only once, an there wasn’t a lot the actor could say about the author. If at all, he would have to refrain from mentioning his real name and description of his appearance. Myung Joo was sincere to a fault.
“Well, it would always be a plus for me the more he’s careful with his words.”
“Right. It’s next week, so don’t miss it,” the director said as if he was advertising his own movie, and Juho gave him an affirmative answer as he brought up a piece of grilled meat to his mouth.
Then, Sang Young asked as he wrapped his meat in fresh, leafy-green vegetables, “So, what happened with Coin, anyway?”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, c’mon now. I don’t know all that much about the publishing industry, but the whole world knows about his unpleasant personality. I’m just curious about how he interacted with an innocent kid like you.”
Sang Young said that with an expression filled with interest, and Juho answered while chewing, “We just talked about livelihood.”
From then on, Juho had to endure through Sang Young’s seemingly endless chain of questions.
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