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‘Classic Cloud’ series help readers better understand lives of great artists

‘Classic Cloud’ series help readers better understand lives of great artists

Posted May. 10, 2018 07:48,   

Updated May. 10, 2018 07:48


The “Classic Clouds” series, which enable readers to feel the breath of great artists, are gaining much attention. Arte, the literature books brand of the Book 21, published the first three books of the “Classic Clouds” series last month: Shakespeare (by Hwang Kwang-soo), Nietzsche (by Lee Jin-woo), and Klimt (by Jeon Won-kyung). These books introduce the places, where great masters grew up and got inspirations from, thereby helping readers understand both their lives and their works. One hundred writers will travel 154 cities in 12 countries, including London, Paris, Praha, Vienna, Firenze and Lisbon and write a total of 100 books about the greatest artists of all time.

The writers wrote the books after traveling the cities related to the artists for at least two weeks to over a month. The books also contain many colorful pictures, giving readers much pleasure. “The first 3,000 copies of Shakespeare, Nietzsche and Klimt were sold out quickly. We had to print the second edition only a month after publication, said Won Mi-sun, director of the Literature Business at Book 21. “We were surprised at greater popularity than we had expected.” Other books of the series such as Puccini (by Yoo Yun-jong), Pessoa (by Kim Han-min) and Oscar Wilde (by Choi Ok-jung) are scheduled to hit the bookshelves soon. It is likely to take more than 10 years for the series to be completed.

Readers are welcoming the series, saying they feel like they are on a luxurious culture trip. There are comments from the readers of “Nietzsche” on the website of Kyobo Books that read “I didn’t know philosophy and travel would match so well” and “Thanks to Nietzche, I miss the Alps, which I’ve never been.” Comments on the book “Shakespeare” include “The book looks into Shakespeare from multiple perspectives. I am thankful that I can follow the traces of Shakespeare from London to Athens by reading the book.” A reader of the “Klimt” wrote “I feel like I’m time traveling to the period Klimt lived in.”

“Considering that there is barrier to classics and masterpieces, we decided to approach them by visiting the places the actually lived in,” said Book 21 CEO Kim Young-gon, who came up with the idea of the series and was responsible for planning. “I hope the readers will gain insight into life by reading our books that contain the knowledge and information collected by our writers from many cities around the world.”

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com