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This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog
Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
The camera focused on Myung Joo’s face looking somewhat flustered.
“‘Trace of a Bird!’ Duh,” Seo Kwang said as he grabbed a handful of chips. Unlike his light-hearted remark, the actor was contemplating the answer quite seriously.
“It’s somewhat of an obvious question, but I’m still curious.”
“I’d be hard-pressed, too.”
As the actor’s thoughts lasted longer than anticipated, and the hosts took turns to chime in. Then, Myung Joo picked a book with a smile.
“You know, I gotta go with this one, ‘Trace of a Bird.'”
“Ah. Playing it safe, are we?”
“Was that too predictable?”
Like Seo Kwang had predicted, Myung Joo had picked ‘Trace of a Bird.’ A bird in a white background. Then, the screen transitioned into an informative sequence about the book, which was edited to look like a movie preview. The beginning of a genius author. Debut title. Film adaptation.
“What was your reason for choosing that particular book? Does it have anything to do with you being in the movie?” the host asked.
“As far as the latter half of your question, I can’t say that it didn’t affect my decision. Honestly, I had read the book before I auditioned for the role.”
“Yes. I was already a fan of Yun Woo by then. My job involves expressing various things like emotions or situations, so as soon as I read the book, I thought: ‘If only I can be this expressive.'”
Then, Pyung Jin, the book critic spoke up.
“I think that’s proof that Yun Woo had successfully formed his own voice and style right off the bat with his debut title. There’s no hesitation in the way the author describes a person’s emotional state, and he limites his use of modifiers to an appropriate level. The balance of the book as a whole, as well as that of between the scenes, is superb. Back then, I wasn’t sure if it was the author’s actual talent or if it was just a carefully calculated result, but the answer became obvious when I read ‘Sound of Wailing.'”
Everyone listened to the critic intently as they agreed with him. Then, the poet asked the actor in a mischievously, “You met Yun Woo in person, right?”
At that, Seo Kwang poked at Juho’s sides, but Juho ignored him and kept his eyes fixed on the TV. Myung Joo was smiling while scratching his cheek.
Then, a series of desperate voices sounded simultaneously, demanding the actor share more.
“Please! Tell us more!”
“I’m dying to hear this!”
“The viewers will love it!”
“Our show’s been doing so well lately. Help us keep up the pace, Myung Joo!”
Then, Myung Joo opened his mouth as if giving into their pressure and said, “I was told to keep it to myself.”
Everyone on set jeered at the actor’s less than satisfying answer, and Seo Kwan, too, joined in with them for some reason.
“Like director, like actor.”
“Well, don’t you think this is over! We’ll get back to ya, Myung Joo.”
With that, the hosts moved on to talking about another book that had received the most number of votes, and the poet took the turn to speak.
“For me, it’s ‘Language of God,'” he said as he placed his hands on a series of books bundled into a single stack, and like previously, the screen transitioned into a similar sequence that looked like a movie preview.
‘The rise of Yun Woo’s rival, Won Yi Young. Readers respond to the truth.’
“I was seriously impressed by Yun Woo’s imagination. Oh, wait! Is it Won Yi Young?”
“I think I was in a daze for a good while when I found out that Yun Woo and Won Yi Young were the same person. I mean, people were going back and forth constantly over that matter! I doubted my own eyes because I was on Yun Woo’s side.”
“I was on Won Yi Young’s.”
Then, the poet went on to explain the world in ‘Language of God,’ from the characters to the regions, and others various fictional beings, including the languages.
“As for these languages, you can find detailed explanations in the offshoot volume of the book, called ‘Language of God: Language.’ I gotta say, as soon as I read it, I felt all my doubts melt away, and it dawned on me that Yun Woo really created all those languages on his own. If you look here, there’s a mention of the author drawing inspiration from the development of various languages across the world.”
“There have been people who actually started speaking those languages, right?”
“I believe that some of the more avid readers speak up to three of those languages. Not to mention, there are people researching them as we speak.”
“This world is sure full of incredible people, like the person who created those languages and those who speak them. Honestly, I was still just as lost, even after reading the offshoot volume. I’m struggling with Korean, as is.”
At that, Seo Kwang agreed enthusiastically, and Juho munched on his chips.
“Now, what about you, Mr. Lee?”
Lastly, the turn went to the critic, and he rose from his seat to walk over to the books. Then, without hesitation, he picked up a book in each of his hands.
“Without a doubt.”
‘Sound of Wailing.’
Despite the host’s pressure to pick one, Pyung Jin insisted on choosing two.
“Now, I don’t have to mention that one of these books won the Dong Kyung Literary Award.”
“Of course. You were one of the judges, right? You spoke with passion that day.”
Then, the screen showed an excerpt of a previous episode, where the critic spoke about the book while wearing an orange tie. By the time the screen returned to the current episode, there was only ‘Belongings’ in the critic’s hands. The writing ‘Translated By: Yun Woo’ became visible.
“OK. So, ‘Sound of Wailing’ seems to be the most popular book of the day. Mr. Lee, would you mind explaining the book in your hands to us?”
At the host’s remark, Juho knew what had happened immediately.
‘His answer must have been too long.’
“I bet they had to cut out his answer,” Seo Kwang murmured, and Pyung Jin began to talk about ‘Belongings.’
“This book was actually written by Kelley Coin, but as you know, it also happens to be Yun Woo’s first translation.”
“I knew you’d pick that book, Mr. Lee,” the poet interjected, and Pyung Jin cleared his throat quietly and said, “What do you think are some of the most important things in a translation?”
The host directed the turn to Myung Joo, and after thinking for a brief moment, he answered, “Uh… I’d figure that you have to speak the language you’re translating from?”
“That’s right. You have to be fluent in the language you’re translating from, as well as the language you’re translating to. I mean, that’s what makes it a translation, right? Turning a book written in one language into another. The more the translator is fluent in both languages, the better the quality of the translation.”
The actor listened intently at the critic’s explanation.
“There are several types of translations, and as you know, it’s also a necessary component in film and business. Of course, every field goes by different standards, but in the field of literature, the most important thing is keeping the uniqueness intact.”
“Uniqueness?” the actor asked, and other cast members were nodding as if they were already familiar with what they were hearing.
“Novels are very different from a business document, where you have the freedom to let your subordinate take over and fill it out for you. It’s not a standardized system where a person takes over when another resigns. When an author dies, we can’t expect any more books from them,” Pyung Jin said calmly.
“And it is a translator’s job to translate such books.”
Then, Juho realized that Seo Kwang was oddly quiet. He was sitting in silence, without moving a muscle. Only his eyes were fixed on the TV screen.
“So, naturally, a translator would feel motivated to translate the author’s original work as is.”
At that, Myung Joo nodded, and the hosts didn’t go out of their way to cheer up the cast members as the air sank into silence. They simply carried on with their jobs: to host the show.
“So, what does that mean for Yun Woo’s translation?”
“Why do you think I was so insistent on choosing this book? There are two things that are missing in this book.”
“Two things? Like what?”
“Mistranslations and Yun Woo.”
Pyung Jin’s tie moved slightly as he spoke.
“There’s not one bit of mistranslation in this book. It might be that I missed it, but I would’ve recognized a bad translation if I saw it. It’s very clean, and considering that it’s Yun Woo’s first translation, he did an incredible job.”
The cast members and the audiences alike exclaimed quietly as they listened to Pyung Jin intently.
“Also, Yun Woo. There’s no trace of him anywhere. The entire time, I was under the impression that I was reading a book written by Kelley Coin. I’ve read the original, and it’s not easy to replicate that sort of reading experience. This is a translated version, I might add, so it’d be natural if something felt like it might have been changed, and that’s why translators try to minimize those changes as much as possible. But, in Yun Woo’s case, there’s not one bit where it feels like it’s been changed. It’s very odd how identical it feels to reading the original.”
Then, the camera showed Myung Joo’s face, which looked deeply impressed.
“I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s getting their hands on Kelley Coin for the first time. They will get the full Kelley Coin experience.”
With that, Pyung Jin finished his segment and locked eyes with Myung Joo.
“Speaking of which, did you hear anything about the meeting between Kelley Coin and Yun Woo?”
At the unexpected question, Myung Joo chuckled as if he was caught off guard, and the rest of the cast members joined in.
“You too, Mr. Lee?”
“But really, tell us!”
“We’re dying to know what kind of things Kelley Coin would have talked about with Yun Woo! This is Kelley Coin we’re talking about here, and we discussed his books in the past too. You guys know about this, right?” The host asked the audience.
“That’s why people were making such a big deal out of it, saying things like ‘Kelley Coin’s at it again!’ or ‘What business does an eighteen year old have in translating?’ Although, I gotta admit that I was secretly rooting for Yun Woo as a fan.”
“So, if there’s anything you know about the meeting between Kelley Coin and Yun Woo, tell us!”
At everyone’s urges, Myung Joo sighed quietly and answered in a sad voice, “I’d love to know as well.”
He was sincere, and it had the power to soften their hearts. The rest of the cast members quietly let him off the hook and then went on to leave a video message for Yun Woo, like previously.
“Yun Woo, we’d love to have you!”
While Juho brought a chip up to his mouth, he looked in Seo Kwang’s direction. His friend was deeply moved, and his eyes sparkled with inspiration.
“I’m gonna translate your books. No matter what,” he declared all of a sudden.
Juho rooted internally for his determined friend. Whether or not he would be able to accomplish his goal was not important. What mattered was that he was making the effort. Then, Juho turned his eyes back to the screen, where his books were resting on the desk. At that, he resolved himself that he would write as long as he could with a determination similar to his friend’s sitting next to him.
“Oh, yeah! We need to start thinking about essay contests, huh?”
“Yep,” Juho answered Seo Kwang.
Mr. Moon had posted quite a few of flyers about various contests on the chalkboard.
“Have you decided which contest you wanna be in?”
“Not yet. I’m still deciding. You?”
“I’m gonna try the same competition as last year.”
Then, Juho contemplated, ‘What to do? I wouldn’t mind being part of the same competition as last year.’ Then, he remembered a person. Sung Pil. Although they had never agreed on being at the same contest, they had competed at the same contest. ‘Maybe it’ll happen again,’ Juho thought as he decided to give him a call.
“‘Language of God’ is almost done, huh,” Seo Kwang said, looking ahead at the TV screen. “When’s the last volume coming out? I’m dying to know. Oh! Do you have the manuscript?”
“Yes, I do.”
Then, Seo Kwang clasped his chest all of a sudden.
“You mean… you have the manuscript?!”
“Yep. It’s just the finale though. I had an idea about how to end the series, so I ended up writing it before the sixth volume. It’s in my room, actually.”
At that, Seo Kwang bounced on the couch anxiously with excitement. It was obvious that he was tempted, and Juho munched on his chips.
“Do you want me to bring it?”
“Ugh! Don’t you test me!”
“I can just show you, you know.”
“No. That’d be cheating. It wouldn’t be fair to other readers.”
“What’s the big deal? My editor’s read it too.”
“That’s different!” Seo Kwang shouted emphatically.
‘What do you want from me?’ Juho thought as he observed Seo Kwang quietly, who was struggling to fight off the sweet temptation of the devil himself. Then, sending Sung Pil a text about the essay contest, he redirected his attention to the TV.
That night, Juho heard the news from Nam Kyung that ‘Belongings’ started selling at an increasing rate after the show aired.
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