Ever Lasting Empire
ONE MILLION BESTSELLER IN KOREA
COMPLETE ENGLISH (beautiful translation) available
Segyesa publishing /Korea.(2006, p399)
Yi In-hwa is the pen name of You Chul-gyun, a professor of Korean Language and Literature ant Ewha Womans University in Seoul. He received the first Writer’s World Literature Award for his novel Who Can Say What I am? in1992. He is also the recipient of Korean government’s 1995 Today’s Young Artist Award and the Chinese government’s first Korea-China Youth scholarship award. In 2000, Yi received the prestigious Yi Sang Ward for his short story “A Poet’s Star.”
Everlasting Empire (Yongwonhan chekuk) is a Korean historical novel written as a mystery story. The narrator frames the main story with his "discovery" of a 150-year-old manuscript. Because of problems verifying the authenticity of the original writer, the narrator offers the book not as genuine history but as a story. The narrative opens on a winter morning in 1800 with the discovery that the Royal Book Examiner has died in the night while working alone on a secret project for the Korean king. His death sets in motion a series of events revealing the contours of philosophical and political conflict among the literati in the royal court. Set at a pivotal moment in Korean history, when the nation's last strong king was attempting to consolidate the authority of the monarchy against the dangerous encumbrance of bureaucratic factional infighting, and when Western ideas were beginning to infiltrate Korea, Everlasting Empire is not only an exciting and informative novel but offers genuine insight into the history and culture of late eighteenth-early nineteenth century Korea. The original Korean edition was published in 1993 and was a bestseller in Korea, selling more than one million copies. It was made into a film in Korean which collected six prestigious Grand Bell Awards.