South Korean award-win­ning au­thor apol­o­gizes over pla­gia­rism scan­dal

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

An in­ter­na­tion­ally cel­e­brated South Korean nov­el­ist has apol­o­gized over a pla­gia­rism scan­dal that has shocked her coun­try and prompted a pub­lisher to stop print­ing one of her books, a re­port said Tues­day.

Man Asian Literary Prize-win­ning au­thor Shin Kyung-sook met with public fury af­ter al­le­ga­tions sur­faced last week that she had copied a piece by the famed late Ja­panese au­thor Yukio Mishima.

Seoul literary critic Lee EungJun wrote in an online es­say pub­lished last week that Shin’s 1996 short story “Leg­end” in­cluded para­graphs lifted from “Pa­tri­o­tism” writ­ten by Mishima in 1960.

The al­le­ga­tion prompted a storm of con­tro­versy, with one civic ac­tivist call­ing for Seoul pros­e­cu­tors to in­ves­ti­gate Shin for fraud.

Shin, 52, has been the face of South Korean literature abroad since win­ning the pres­ti­gious Man Asian Literary Prize in 2012 for her in­ter­na­tional best­seller “Please Look Af­ter Mom”

Last week Shin de­nied she had read “Pa­tri­o­tism” but ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­view pub­lished on Tues­day, later ad­mit­ted the pos­si­bil­ity of hav­ing pla­gia­rized the ma­te­rial, say­ing she could no longer trust her mem­ory.

“I re­peat­edly com­pared sen­tences in both nov­els ... and re­al­ized that it was le­git­i­mate for peo­ple to raise the is­sue of pla­gia­rism over this,” she told Seoul’s Kyunghyang news­pa­per.

“It is all my fault to cre­ate a sit­u­a­tion like this ... I am re­ally sorry,” Shin was quoted as say­ing.

Both sto­ries re­volve around love and the death of young new­ly­weds in the early 20th cen­tury, with the para­graphs in ques­tion de­scrib­ing an erotic as­pect of their re­la­tion­ship.

Mishima, a cel­e­brated poet and play­wright, was nom­i­nated for the No­bel Prize in Literature three times be­fore his sui­cide in 1970.

Seoul-based pub­lisher, Changbi Pub­lish­ers, will im­me­di­ately stop print­ing Shin’s book con­tain­ing the short story, Changbi spokesman Yum Jong-Sun told AFP on Tues­day.

“Please Look Af­ter Mom,” a novel fo­cus­ing on fam­ily love, sold over two mil­lion copies in Korea and has sold in over 30 coun­tries, be­com­ing a New York Times best­seller af­ter be­ing trans­lated into English in 2011.

The book helped Shin be­come the first woman and the first South Korean to win Asia’s top literary prize three years ago.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.