I have worked for 14 years as a literary editor. My job is to improve sentences and turn a writer's copy into a complete book with a title on the cover. Indeed, books have long had a special place in my life. A new book that I worked on was released even today, the day I am writing this editorial. I wish to see that many readers will long stay in love with the book filled with infinite promise that I am holding in my hand.
Here is a man with a view looking down at a book in his hand. Hanta, a man who runs a press to compact waste paper, stands right on the opposite side of my place. He gets books removed while I bring life to them. He operates a press with his bare hands in a basement swarming with rats. Waste paper pours down on the basement via a lidded opening at the ceiling every single day - novels written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, limited editions, used and unread books. He skillfully compacts whatever passes through the opening at the ceiling. While working in the basement, he learns a lot and builds on wisdom. Being locked in the dark place, he grows to become a sage with a deepening understanding of the outside world.
What if Hanta was replaced by a huge handy machine? Simply put, it would be not only a death sentence for the modern times but also human isolation. His story ends with him walking into the press both to put an end to his universe and to get it completed at the same time, which cannot be lofty enough. I would like to recommend this book if you want to witness the perfect ending of a novel that you could ever imagine. This book was selected as the Novel of the Year in 2016 by 50 South Korean novelists. Bohumil Hrabal, the author of the book, is called the sad king of Czech literature because he spent his lifetime in his home country where his books were forbidden. He reminds us of Hanta who throws himself into the world that he is dedicated to keep intact.