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Bernard Werber visits Korea to promote his new novel ‘Death’

Bernard Werber visits Korea to promote his new novel ‘Death’

Posted June. 06, 2019 07:36,   

Updated June. 06, 2019 07:48


“My novels are appreciated in Korea because Korean readers are intelligent and future-oriented.”

A French man slowly walked through a group of reporters on Wednesday at Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul. It was Bernard Werber, 57, author of “The Ants” and “Les Thanatonautes.” He came to Korea to promote his new novel “Death” in his eighth visit to the country in the past three years.

The novel “Death” starts with a scene, where novelist Gabriel Wells finds out that he is dead. The novel is about the sprit Wells’ pursuit of his killer with the help of psychic Lucy Filippini. Werber, who had dealt with the subject death in his previous novels, tried to familiarize readers with death in this new novel.

“Death is considered as either a mysterious or superstitious subject. It sometimes triggers fears. I think it is an invisible world, where our ancestors live,” the novelist said. “I wanted to describe death as the last chapter of our lives in a poised and calm manner.”

While writing the novel, he went to see several psychics to carry out his own test. He asked them questions to see whether their logics were sound. During the process, he met a shockingly logical psychic and created the character Lucy. “Shamanism has been a hot topic for a long time but it is something that should be dealt with carefully as there have been cases where extraordinary talent gets abused,” said Werber. “I have only met French psychics so far. I would like to meet Korean shamans this time.”

Do we have to think about death when our lives are so hectic? His advice that growing old and dying without asking that question is a meaningless life transcends borders. The title of his next novel, which he is currently working on, is “Pandora’s Box.”

“The subject of my next novel is reincarnation. I’m trying to describe what happens in the process of reincarnation. I think human beings live to develop their spirit by means of our body,” he said. “We repeat the process, where we learn lessons through reincarnation.”

The French novelist will hold a lecture under the theme “Imagination and Communication” at the Starfield Library in COEX Mall on Thursday at 7 p.m. The lecture will be aired live on Naver V Live from 3 p.m. He will meet with his readers in another lecture titled “Possibilities and Future of Popular Literature” at the Mapo Central Library in Seoul at 7 p.m. next Monday.

Seol Lee snow@donga.com