“The Complete David Bowie” written by Nicholas Pegg is the heaviest book about music published in Korea this year. It is the “Bowie Encyclopedia,” which compilated all songs, albums, concerts, videos, and exhibitions of the legendary British singer-songwriter David Bowie (1947-2016).
The book includes detailed facts and sharp criticisms. The book consists of 948 pages and each page is divided into two lows and no photograph is included. The content may need more than 2,000 pages in the general book format.
Three translators including Lee Gyeong-jun, Kim Du-wan, and Kwak Seung-chan translated the book into Korean for two and a half years. Author Nicholas Pegg introduced the Korean version and translators on his twitter in October, “Calling Asian Bowie fans: I’m thrilled to say that I’m now available in Korean! My copy hasn’t arrived yet, so many thanks for the photo to @DlGCbejGDF4yqbd, one of the intrepid trio who have had the unenviable task of translating my magnum opus.”
The Dong-A Ilbo interviewed Lee Gyeong-jun (42) who planned the Korean translation work. “I felt awe when I first read the book,” Lee said. “I looked back on the true meaning of ‘knowing’ after seeing the author delve so deep into a person.”
“Pegg is not a critic, but his writing and insights are exceptionally good,” Lee said. “He says critics are complacent and stale when they liken Bowie to a chameleon.”
What kind of person was Bowie to Lee who translated the book? “He has stayed between borders throughout his life,” Lee said. “He immediately threw away the genres and styles he adopted whenever critics or fans started to define him. Winning popularity was never his priority.”