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‘Anne of Green Gables’ gains huge popularity

Posted September. 28, 2019 09:17,   

Updated September. 28, 2019 09:17


The “My name is Anne of Green Gables” exhibition, currently being held at Galleria Foret in central Seoul, will have an extended exhibition period to next April due to growing popularity. Originally scheduled to end in late October, the exhibition has attracted a number of visitors with its illustrations, paintings, and video clips based on the novel “Anne of Green Gables.” Visitors, reminded of the old memories, have left positive reviews that looking at Anne’s smile and optimistic attitude helped them brace their energy. “We have around 1,000 visitors a day on weekdays and over 1,500 every weekend,” content producer Media N Art said.

It seems Anne Shirley is creating another craze in the country. “Anne of Green Gables” is a 1908 novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The novel centers around an orphan girl, who is mistakenly sent to two middle-aged siblings running a farm. The straightforward, imaginative girl has become a character beloved by not only children and adolescents but also grown-ups.

Along with the exhibition, the original novel is also enjoying its another heyday. Over 111 years have passed since the book’s publication, but the translated edition of the novel was ranked No. 1 in bestselling novels at the Kyobo Book Center as of Thursday. The memory-evoking book contains the original picture of the animation series made in Japan, which was also aired in South Korea in the 1980s.

“Anne with an E,” a drama television series based on the novel, has also achieved global success. Building on the success of Seasons 1 and 2, Season 3 will be produced and released in the second half of the year on Netflix.

South Korean writer Baek Young-ok analyzed that Anne’s story resonates with people in today’s society because they are living through uncertainties. Her essay based on the novel published in 2016 was also a hit, selling over 350,000 copies. “We’re living in an era where we can’t distinguish the good from the evil and justice often fails. In society filled with contradictions, people may find themselves drawn to a classic with a stable structure where good men end up being happy,” Baek said. The kind girl’s story where she approaches her dream with the help of the siblings may be just a cliché, but could be a great comfort for readers in the 21st century, who feel tired in a fast-changing world.

Jee-Young Kim kimjy@donga.com