Go to contents

Writer Lee Mun-yeol Goes Online

Posted January. 29, 2003 22:31,   


Writer Lee Mun-yeol is now up and running in cyber space where he has been facing harsh critics. He started writing a new novel titled `Homo Executans` on e-Novel Web site (enoveltown.donga.com) run by Dong-a Ilbo on January 24.

Given that he has been at the center of heated contention in the Internet often times, it must have been hard for him to decide to write a novel over the Internet.

˝Many have asked the same question, which I found rather surprising. When I worry about the Internet and netizens, I am not against the entire Internet population. I just worry about small groups of people abusing the influence of the Internet. Cyber space is an effective communication tool we have successfully developed and everyone needs to adjust to that fact.˝

˝The Internet, then, must serve as a tool for promoting intellectual art works widely,˝ the writer went on to say. For this reason, his new book challenges some distorted Internet culture.

˝How come people consider the Internet something easy and shallow. It may not and should not be that way. To those accustomed to paper books, texts over the Internet may appear frivolous and vulgar. And I want to show them through my new work that online texts can be serious and sincere with genuine stories.˝

The title of the book `Homo Executans` means a human as an executor. The book describes that human being can be a punisher and an assailant while seen as an executor for God. The book has its root in the thought of human existence Lee earlier explored in `A Son of a Man.` It is thought about human existence, a step away from things real and practical.

˝Great divinity is to be born in the land of anguish and conflict. This is why we have seen in this country so many power-seekers alluring people only to exploit and oppress them. Populism, power struggling and political worshiping can be translated into bread, miracle and authority in old languages. These things are not unfamiliar to us at all.˝

Going through a series of `incidents,` he tried to find peace in his mind by focusing on writing `Clouds after Strong Winds,` which began to be introduced through Donga-Ilbo in March last year. ˝As I grow older, I think more about something spiritual something deep inside, rather than things sensational and practical,˝ he said.

Initially Lee thought about writing a story about Hwang Jang-yeop `Song of Falcon.` ˝There is something to write about him, for sure. But I need to clear myself up before starting to work on the sensitive issue, especially so given that the book might spark controversy outside the literary circle.˝

Short messages posted on the novel site reflect high expectations from readers. They includes such messages as ˝It gives me the creepy feelings I experienced with `a Son of a Man,˝ (korpedoc) and ˝What is happening now in the world that is not here?˝ (tankmoon)

Lee plans to introduce the whole story for the next thirty weeks once a week. ˝The volume of the book will be between 1,500 to 1,800 sheets of manuscript paper and I do not want to mind the two-way communications over the Internet,˝ he explained.

Then, how good Lee is at the Internet? ˝I am poor, very poor,˝ replied the writer laughing loudly.

Yi-Young Cho lycho@donga.com