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KT articles on Icons of Korean Buddhism

I’ve just started a new weekly series in the Korea Times, every Friday, on the 30 greatest Icons (artworks, temples, masters, whatever) of Korean Buddhism, sponsored by the Jogye Order — to be collectively published as a book that’ll be distributed at the Seoul G-20 Summit in November (plenty of journalists will be there, hungry for stories?). Hopefully, this’ll add to the quality-upgrading that the KT has been trying to attain…  However, i won’t be writing all 30 of these essays — other writers will be recruited for some of the more esoteric topics.

The first of my articles, “Seokgur-am: Korea’s Supreme Grotto” is now online here.    The second one, on the Tripitaka Koreana this time, is printed in today’s edition (run, run! there may be a copy left at yer local 24-super!) and up on the KT site here.  Worthy subjects as the first two choices, eh?

If you find and mistakes, omissions or mis-interpretations, i’d be pleased to discuss them in the comments here.  These essays are not “complete”, as the KT only wanted 800 words on each, and i went 50% over on these two so far — sheesh, a thick book could be written about Seokgur-am alone…

By the way, i never did post here last November, Newsweek Korea had their 20th-Anniv Issue, and there was a feature-series (in Korean) on “Expats Who Have Gotten Off the Boat and Totally Lost Their Minds”  — at least i think that’s the translation, you more-fluent-than-i can check it.  Some of the pages (on me and some of mah homies) were posted on my site.  Only mystery here is, WHY wasn’t Sir Marmot included in this?  Maybe “too obvious a choice”…??

  • R. Elgin

    The articles are good, congratulations. “Expats Who Have Gotten Off the Boat and Totally Lost Their Minds” is a pretty funny translation too!

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    (for our younger readers, the “got off the boat” reference is from classic 1979 movie “Apocalypse Now” — Chef: “Don’t get off the boat! NEVER get off the boat!”…)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com setnaffa

    Those beautiful statues could be just so much dust and rubble if the Taliban get a shot at them. Remember http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Destruction_of_Buddhas_March_21_2001.jpg and keep Korea free!!!

  • r.rac

    looks like a great article, too bad i had to switch over to ie to read it as now the kt website doesnt work in firefox sparkling

  • rockon

    I just read your story about Seokguram and asked myself a question. Is the story about you or the site? Amateur writers and bloggers often confuse the two.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    Yes, and professional writers often combine them when scribbling for the popular-sortza media. None of that article is about me, all is about the site; one para opening and 3 closing (one story) depict my own impressions and experiences concerning the site, while the other 20 are in an “objective” voice. This confused you?

    Newspaper and popular-mag editors usually request (even demand) the author’s personal voice in feature articles & descriptive essays (not straight news articles), most often in openings and frequently also in closing — they think it engages the readers, and it prolly does — it’s perfectly standard in the biz, a typical format.

    You might note that my second article on the TK has no personal speech, is objective all the way thru except perhaps the last sentence — that’s how that one had to be, seemed to me; and yup the editor bugged me about it (twice in fact) but i held firm — have no notable emotions about this treasure (beyond awe), nor colorful experiences, and declined to make any up.

    Third one next week, i do got a few authentic tales to spin… But i think that this series, by its intended nature, ought to remain 95% third-person in tone.

    I actually prefer the purely objective tone, and you’ll find it in my articles in more professional publications like Korean Heritage Quarterly and the academic Journals. But this is newspaper…

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    > setnaffa #3

    I remain serenely confident that the Muslim Taliban will not be taking over South Korea any time soon — zero chance of it. Fanatical Christians who who wish to destroy the shrines & artworks of other religions, and have already done a bit of that here, however — the Christian Taliban, if you will — that is a remote yet in fact possible danger.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    And now my third article, on Haein-sa “the Historic Dharma-Jewel Monastery” is in today’s fishwrap, and online at:
    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2010/03/293_62195.html