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The Great Storyteller (Web Novel) - Chapter 229: Santa Claus and Translation (4)

Chapter 229: Santa Claus and Translation (4)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

“Yun Woo, the first Asian Nebula Winner, Making a Comeback with a New Book!”

“Pre-orders Deluge All Across Europe. Fans React Online.”

“Yun Woo Showcases His Literature Piece. The New, International Bestseller.”

“Never Heard of a Korean Novel? This Author Will Change Your Mind. Yun Woo, the Hottest Author from the East.”

“A Closer Look at Yun Woo’s ‘Sublimation’ and His Incredible Language Skills. What’s All the Fuss About?”

“‘Sublimation,’ Yun Woo’s Most Controversial Piece Yet. Senior Editor’s Interview Draws Massive Attention: ‘Through This New Piece, We Will Get to Know the Author a Little Better. Yet, Find Him All the More Mysterious.'”

“Yun Woo Takes Part in Translating His New Novel, ‘Sublimation!’ Why?”

“Yun Woo’s Translator-in-Charge Struggles to Make Progress with the Controversial Ending of ‘Sublimation,’ Forcing Yun Woo to Step In. An Author Translating His Own Novel?”

“‘Sublimation’ Said To Be Exported to About Forty-Five Countries. Yun Woo Only Taking Part in English and French Translations. A Closer Look.”

“The Polarizing Views of the Critics. What’s the Big Deal? The Secret Identity of the Author We’re All Dying to Know: Yun Woo! Who Is He? Where Is He? Is He Even Real? The Young Author in the Spotlight, Rewriting History.”

“From the Cover Design to Translation. Most Hands-On Piece of the Author Yet!”

“The Anticipation Toward Yun Woo’s New Novel, ‘Sublimation,’ According to Kelley Coin.”

In a well-ventilated area, Susan, Kelley Coin’s Mother, was at the dining table, immersed in a book. Widely known for its author having contributed to its designing process, the black cover stood out even when in contrast with the tablecloth with exotic patterns. Taking after the original design of the cover, Fernand had made minimal changes to the appearance of the book. In her seat, Susan gently brushed her hand down the book, which was Yun Woo’s most hands-on work yet.

“Yet, the mystery grows,” she murmured, opening the book for the second time. Then, taking a lighter that was rolling around the table, she lit the cigarette in her mouth with it. Reading ‘Sublimation’ made her crave for a cigarette for some reason.

Taking a deep drag off her cigarette, she breathed out a thick cloud of smoke into the air. Then, savoring the unusually-pleasant bitterness of the smoke lingering in her mouth, Susan continued reading. The book was easy to read, and Sanders’ translations were always trustworthy.

Shortly after, Susan remembered what was on the ‘About the Translator’ section at the very end of the book. Taylor Sanders, one of the most talented translators around, had confessed that he hadn’t been confident in his original translation, forcing him to travel all the way to South Korea in order to meet with the author. Then, after a long, in-person conversation with the young author shrouded in mystery, Sanders finally managed to bring back an answer. Yun Woo had agreed to lend a hand.

Then, flipping through the pages, Susan opened the book to the ending. Who started the fire? Who worshipped it? Who was afraid of it? All the characters were at odds with each other, and the tension was at its maximum. Then, everything simply fell apart. Just like Yun Woo’s identity, it wasn’t clear exactly when things began to disintegrate. The author had retrieved the identities of each and every character in the novel without anybody knowing, leaving the readers clueless. Finding the culprit was no longer the priority. All the events and conflicts leading up to that point of the novel allowed the readers to be able to indulge in the precarious pleasure, and the fact that a young author was unfolding it all in such a cruel manner was rather quite astonishing. The cleaner the mirror, the clearer it reflected the world. The novel showed how the numerous rumors that surrounded the author reflected on him, as if he was saying to the readers: ‘You don’t know a thing.’

At that moment, a sharp, shattering sound broke the silence. It sounded like somebody had flung an object against the wall with ill-intent. Nevertheless, remembering her son, who was writing upstairs, Susan flipped to the next page unfazed. Coin had acquired and read the book much sooner than his mother, and the shattering sound had become increasingly more common since then. ‘Better to let all that anger out somehow rather than keeping it in. I can always replace the things he breaks,’ she thought.

With that, she took a deep drag off her cigarette once again. The deity of fire was foolish, and its worshippers should have done a better job at keeping it safe. They should have hidden it out of other people’s sight, even at the cost of losing their clothes to the burning fire of their deity. Upon acquiring fire, humanity evolved at an exponential rate, and some believed that it was the most humanly-way to live. They believed the time they were currently living in, after the industrial revolution, was the very essence of humanity. However, who were the most distant from their origins? Were people so arrogant as to be proud of the reality they had created, widening the gap between wealthy and poor, taking nature for granted, and knowing nothing but conquering what was around them? Reading ‘Sublimation’ brought doubt to the hearts of its readers, and made them reflect on the history built by humans up to that point. In it, they found sin, as well as cowardly attempts to look away from it. At the same time, there was hope for humanity to move forward. At that moment…

“Better do something about that cigarette ash,” a voice said to Susan. It was Coin.

“You done breaking stuff?”

“We’re not gonna have enough cups for a little while,” he said, placing the pieces of shattered mugs into the sink. He had been collecting them on top of the stacks of manuscript paper in his room. A sharp sound came from the kitchen, and there were simply too many pieces with a handle on it to think that they were all from the same mug. He had to have brought down even the pieces that had been laying around in his room from his previous fits of rage. Then, glancing over at the book in his mother’s hand, the author’s face scrunched up.

“This is a great book,” Susan said, as if trying to rub it in. However, Coin maintained the crabby look on his face.

“I love the the cover design, and the translation is top-notch, too. That Yun Woo is one talented person.”

“Talent? Yeah, right,” Coin let out, snickering. If talent was all it took to be able to write a novel like ‘Sublimation,’ then Coin would have felt much more at peace.

“You know, I’ve noticed how much writers hate the word ‘talent.'”

“Because it’s destructive,” Coin said, leaning against the sink. “The so-called, ‘talented’ can’t survive in this world.”

“Is that so? Does that mean this kid will die, too?”

“Everyone dies.”

Seeing that her son was avoiding her question, Susan put out the cigarette she had been smoking in her coffee.

“I think I prefer this one over ‘Language of God,’ maybe over ‘Sound of Wailing,’ even.”

“And why?”

“Because I have a son that has an uncanny resemblance to fire.”

As the author’s face twisted even more into a scowl from his mother’s response, Susan said, “This is just an unfounded assumption I’m making here, but maybe you were the inspiration for the fire. It has a lot in common with you.”

“I can’t stand anything hot.”

Then, ignoring his mother’s hearty laughter, Coin turned around, returned to his room upstairs and sat on his chair. It was a pigsty of a room, with sheets of paper and his blanket jumbling into one big mess. Reaching for his desk, Coin grabbed the same book his mother had been reading. It was sticky, and the pages were stained with brown liquid. His mug had tipped over it before, while he had been looking through the ending of the book, spilling coffee all over it. Then, the mug met its unfortunate demise as the author furiously flung it against the wall.

“There’s no mistake that it was all done by Yun Woo, from the writing to the translation and the cover design.”

Yun Woo was impossible to figure out. ‘What is this ending about?’ It diverted out of nowhere, adding weight to the novel all of a sudden. Coin thought of a ballerina’s feet. At the tip of the body that stood gracefully, were the crushed, twisted up feet, never to be shown on stage. Because they were something the audience would never see, the ballerina’s feet had no presence, as if they didn’t even exist, leaving all but her graceful motions.

What Yun Woo had revealed wasn’t meant to exist, as if the ballerina had taken her shoes off in the middle of a performance. Needless to say, the audience was in shock, yet in awe, having a newfound respect for the ballerina’s sublime beauty. Unfortunately, the truth wasn’t as obvious as the audience thought. A book typically didn’t have feet.

“I hate this,” Coin said, forcefully separating the pages that were stuck together. A book was not the same as a human. Therefore, it couldn’t put on or take off shoes, neither could it be twisted in any way. Yet, Yun Woo had managed to do just that, like a chameleon moving its eyes independently from one another, a snake with its tongue split at the end, and a cow with its multiple stomachs. None of which would be possible for humans.

“You have a split personality or what?”

No matter how he looked at it, the author simply couldn’t figure it out. He couldn’t understand how it was even possible. It was like watching a well-orchestrated magic show. ‘Was he trained in some way? Eh, I’m sure it only looks like a miracle to people who know nothing about the tricks involved.’ Coin had never met anybody like that in his entire career as an author.

Then, raising his hand, the author flung the book against the wall, and upon hitting the bookshelf, the book fell on the floor. However, it did little to alleviate his anger. With that, he grabbed his laptop, opened it, and began to type away, looking lively for some reason.

“All right, Susan. Understood,” Isabella said and hung up the phone. She was at a busy bookstore, which was jam-packed with people trying to buy books. There was a faint scent of knowledge in the air, of which the editor was quite fond. The bookstore was quite busy with mothers with their children, couples locking arms with each other, and corporate workers making a quick stop on their way home from work. There were also books written in English, French, and Spanish among the sections divided into numerous categories, and Isabella was walking about, looking around the store.

Politics was the most popular topic as of late, which meant memoirs and biographies of presidents were growing increasingly sought-after. Essays had also been growing in popularity, and most recently, a book written by an author suffering from a severe burn had become a massive hit. Having been through an unfortunate accident, the author had already gone through a total of eight procedures, and had four additional procedures scheduled for the future. Although recognizing traditions as something to be preserved and respected, bookstores were just as sensitive to the evolving trends. The Bible was placed right next to a book on Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which contained records of the most distant past that humans could recall to the present day.

With that, Isabella walked to the literature section. Novels were, inarguably, one of the most popular of all genres, and there was nothing more interesting than a person’s life story.

“I’m sorry. It appears to be sold out at the moment,” an employee said to the customer who was looking for Yun Woo’s book, which had started selling at an incredible rate even before its release. Even online purchases took at least two weeks until they reached customers, and that wasn’t surprising considering the adjectives associated with the author. Being the first Asian Nebula winner, Yun Woo was very young, and although anonymous, his skills were astounding. He had recently revealed his voice and received the Nebula Award through Kelley Coin, and the friendship between the two authors was more than enough to alleviate the unfamiliarity with Korean novels that existed in other countries. All there was left for the young author was curiosity and rumors.

‘Sublimation’ was Yun Woo’s first novel after his victory of the award, and needless to say, the publishing industry had predicted its massive success. And now, that had become a reality. People were anxious to read his book, see the cover the author had taken a part in designing, and interested in seeing the novel translated by the author himself.

The controversy surrounding the ending of the novel was very much alive in the States, and even critics had polarizing opinions about the novel. Those who doubted until the end, and those who didn’t. Those who raised questions endlessly competed against those who supported the author. On top of that, a blog with translation of the fans’ reactions in Korea turned up, along with videos of a popular TV show in Korea, ‘The Great Book Club,’ complete with English subtitles. It was all an effort to gather more information about the young author, and the same went to interview videos of Yun Woo’s professional acquaintances.

There was at least one mention of Yun Woo in Coin’s interview requests, and that had only provoked the author further. After canceling all interviews that had been scheduled, Coin had shut himself in his room. However, Isabella didn’t comment on it since there was still time until the deadline. Besides, she had a good feeling about Coin’s new book.

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