The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea
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In Why Orwell Matters (2005), Christopher Hitchens made the following prediction about North Korea: “...there will turn out to have been individual Koreans who always kept a scrap of culture alive.” The fulfillment of that prediction is this book, first published in 2017.
An afterward tells the story of how the manuscript escaped from the North, how it was smuggled out—due to the efforts of a female relative—sandwiched between the pages of The Selected Works of Kim il-Sung. Its author, Bandi (a pseu ...more
Bandi, Korean for firefly, is the pseudonym the author uses; he states that he's "fated to shine only in a world of darkness." The translation is by Deborah Smith, translator for Han Kang's Human Acts and The Vegetarian. Bandi wrote the stories between 1989 and 19Stars. The ...more
Εφτά συγκλονιστικά διηγήματα που είναι αδύνατον να μη σε «ταρακουνήσουν». Πραγματικά, κάτι πάει λάθος σαυτόν το κόσμο. Το ανθρώπινο είδος, νομίζω πως το παραέχεσε.
This is an important book, one that needs to be read and it was highly enlightening for me. Bandi is the pseudonym of a writer living in North Korea and this collection of short stories was smuggled out of the country and has been published in South Korea. As such it is unusual - normally the stories we can read about North Korea are written by people who have fled the country - and not by somebody who is still very much a part of it. While reading ...more
Reconozco que al principio este libro me chocó, y tardé un par de relatos en entrar en la manera de narrar de Bandi.
Esperaba más drama y emoción, pero realmente lo grande de estos cuentos es que logran despegarse de todo el melodrama esperado, siendo en cambio satíricos, irónicos y desgarradores.
Mostrándonos la vida cotidiana de personas comunes en la Corea del N ...more
This is a collection of grim short stories and while it flies under the banner of fiction and certainly reads like some absurdist dystopia, you get the sense it is more lightly fictionalized reportage than imaginary fiction. It's a bleak portrayal of North Korea th ...more
Basically, these short stories depict a North Korea whose dictatorship is built on fear and hereditary hierarchy. No one is allowed to speak against the dictators; ...more
"A sincere, genuine life is possible only for those who have freedom. Where emotions are suppressed and actions monitored, acting only becomes ubiquitous, and so convincing that we even trick ourselves. Look at all these people sobbing over a death that happened three months ago, starving because they haven't been able to draw their rations all the while. What about the mother of the child bitten by a snake while he was out gathering flowers forKim Il-sung's altar? Perhaps she finds her privat ...more
Τα διηγήματα είναι συγκινητικά, ευαίσθητα, εσωτερικά, με πολύ όμορφη αφήγηση γεμάτη αλληγορίες.
Αυτά τα διηγήματα πραγματικά παιδεύτηκαν πολύ για να έρθουν στα χέρια μας, καθώς δραπέτευσαν από μία χώρα της οποίας το κράτος έτσι και ήξερε, έτσι και ανακάλυπτε αυτή την συλλογή ή τον συγγραφέα του, τα πράγματα θα εξελίσσονταν πολύ δυσάρεστα για τον ίδιο και πιθανόν την οικογένεια του.
Με άγγιξαν αυτές οι ιστορίες που διάβασα ...more
Anyone who is trying to stay ...more
As for the book itself, I found it s ...more
Where in the world might you find such a garden, such a den of evil magic, where cries of pain and sadness where wrenched from the mouths of its people and distorted into laughter?
The Accusation is a collection of stories smuggled out of North Korea, the most repressive nation in the world, and published under the pseudonym of Bandi. Bandi shares with us a very diverse collection of voices; we get stories from husbands and wives, daughters and sons, families and friends, each exposing a bleak cultural landscape ...more
Although the stories are fictional, there is a very deep resonance with the truth and the lives of people who live in North Korea. The stories all talk about the suppression and horrors of living under the Great Leader, and they each focus on some element of family life and the culture of North Korea. From the ...more
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THE ACCUSATION is amazing, and not because of the stories it contains. According to the afterword, it is a historical first: no other book criticizing North Korea has been published by a North Korean who still lives in North Korea. Apparently, his/her 750 page handwritten manuscript was smuggled out and published in South Korea. So keep that in mind, while reading.
Most of these stories have a unifying theme: they're often written by someone who is doing their best to fit into the Party, only to dis ...more
This was absolutely fascinating. A collection of short stories that were smuggled out of North Korea with the author still living there undetected. My problem with this book relies entirely on me and the fact that I'm not a huge fan of short stories, but they were really interesting and I loved how the book also included a section on how the manuscript was smuggled out and a little bit about the author.
Το βιβλίο το αγόρασα με το που κυκλοφόρησε πέρυσι τον Οκτώβριο στα ελληνικά, αλλά μετά φαίνεται ότι το ξέχασα. Και τώρα με αφορμή όλες τις φασαρίες που γίνονται στην Κορεατική Χερσόνησο, το ξαναθυμήθηκα και είπα να το διαβάσω επιτέλους. Είναι χαλαρά μιας από τις καλύτερες και πιο ενδιαφέρουσες συλλογές διηγημάτων που έχω διαβάσει τα τελευταία χρόνια.
Όχι, δεν το λέω αυτό επειδή είναι γραμμένη από Βορειοκορεάτη συγγραφέα και κρύβεται ολόκληρη ιστορία πίσω από την κυκλο ...more
This is a collection of seven short stories written between 1989 and 1995 under the regimes of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in North Korea. The author's identity remains secret, since he still lives in the country - his pseudonym means “firefly”. He is, or perhaps was, part of the official writers' association, writing articles approved by the regime, but in his own time he began secretly to write these stories, showing a different version of daily life under this extre ...more
Fifty years in this northern land
Living as a machine that speaks
Living as a human under a yoke
With a pure indignation
Written not with pen and ink
But w ...more
What is it?
This is a book that was written by a North Korean writer still living there, but as it is against the government, it was smuggled through the border and published in South Korea in 2014. Bandi is a pseudonym. In the French edition there is quite a lot of information about him/her (the genre is not told – lets suppose its a "he") - he was born in 1950, lived in China during his childhood, and is now an official writer for th ...more
The old man of Europe with his bristling beard
Claimed that capitalism is a pitch-black realm
While communism is a world of light
I, Bandi, of this so-called world of light,
Fated to shine only in a world of darkness,
Denounce in front of the whole world
That light which is truly fathomless darkness,
Black as a moonless night at the year's end.
The Accusation, a collection of seven short stories (written between 1989 and 1995), is the first work of Western-published fi ...more
(Now I've got a computer and can elaborate a bit)
This is a collection of short stories (and two poems) that denounce life under communism and under the North Korean regime. If you've read another book about North Korea, then you'll recognize the things Bandi talks about: the travel permits, ...more
Четох също някъде, че сегашният севернокореец е с десетина и повече сантиметра по-нисък от южнокорейския си събрат. Заради диетата - но не в смисъла, който влагат модните списания.
В Северна Корея живеят хора. Хора, които имат своите чувства, малки радости, ...more
Este es un libro de un escritor nor-coreano desconocido, no se sabe el nombre del mismo por razones de seguridad, en una oportunidad que tuvo el autor, logró sacar de Corea del Norte sus manuscritos con cuentos ...more
In truth, there is nothing remarkable about any of the stories, but what they do is confirm (if it was needed) what many of us the ...more
In place of Acknowledgments, there is a poem by the author which was smuggled out with the written manuscripts. This poem was the high point of the book for me. It's ridiculous ...more
It's only natural to expect people in the U.S. to be fascinated by — and a little wary of — news out of North Korea. The Hermit Kingdom has become our new boogeyman, replacing China and Russia as the focus of our Red Scare. But given the United States' near-total lack of communication with the other country, the bulk of our narratives about North Korea come from outsiders, from imaginative novelists and traveling teachers, or from defectors who have successfully found asylum elsewhere. All of th...more
Literature is always imbued in politics. It's always a response to some issue in the world, even stories that seem far fetched. You can say that literature is the gatekeeper of humanity due to its ability to inform, educate, and even warn. Which is why most people in positions of high power hate it.
Bandi (firefly in Korean) is someone who grew up during the start of the North Korean regime. He is still ...more
Но книгата, написана под псевдонима Банди (Светулката), не е посветена на тоталитарната власт и нейните издевателства. Това е сборник с истории за обикновените хора, които са се адаптирали малко или много към абсурдната си реалност, и дишат, живеят, обичат, оцеляват година след година. Някои от тях са повярвали, че промяната преди десетилетия е за добро, после са изтрезнели; други са очаквали обещаваното светло бъдеще, което винаги е хей т ...more
Reader! I beg you to read my words.
The story of how this manuscript was smuggled out of North Korea could be a novel itself. Bandi, the pen name of an anonymous male author, who still lives and works in North Korea, means "firefly" - an interesting choice of name as he shines light on and illuminates this society and its regime.
Seven stories of daily life - domestic trials, work, visiting family, public transportation - yet, each of these situations are so very different than our own expe ...more
To me, these stories are important for what they tell us about life in North Korea rather than being of interest based solely on literary merit. At the end of the book it ...more
The Accusation is a very unique set of short stories because they were written by an actual citizen living in North Korea and smuggled out of the country. As explained in the afterword of the book, Bandi works for a writing group in North Korea and wrote these stories in his spare time over many years. When one ...more
|Around the Year i...: The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from North Korea, by Bandi||1||12||Feb 01, 2019 09:12AM|
Bandi's short story collection, The Accusation (고발), was smuggled out of the country and published in Seoul in May 2014. Bandi's collection of political poems, The Red Years (붉은세월), was published in South Korea in January 2018.