"Life is hard, so is Shakespeare," she fumed after completing 252-page Korean translation of the one of Shakespeare's four tragic dramas.
"King Lear is difficult to read," the honorary professor of the Dongguk University said. "However, owing to love of the missionaries for Shakespeare, we are able to enjoy Shakespeare's drama"
She went on to say that the local Koreans are now able to read and enjoy King Lear with her easy explanations.
"King Lear is the greatest play because what we find from it is the universe itself," Kim said.
She considered King Lear the most difficult play to comprehend but she added a total of 190 footnotes to her recent version.
In these footnotes were contained 45 years of her love and passion about Shakespeare. She hopes that her new translation can be read in easier way by contemporary locals anywhere and anytime.
The first version of her King Lear was published by the Dongin Publishing Co. in December of 2016. It was written by Prof. Kim of the Shakespeare Association of Korea (SAK).
The original version was published on the anniversary of 400 years of Shakespeare's death.
“But, the translations of the original version were too outmoded and hard to understand,” Kim added “I hope that my newer and easier version will help the local Koreans to grasp the real meaning of King Lear in easy contemporary terms”
The revised version of King Lear was published by the same company in May 2023.
"It took him 20 years before he completed the Korean-language version of the genius British playwright's full works," she recollected. "South Korea became the world's seventh nation to translate the whole works of Shakespeare.
Considered as nation's most famous scholar on Shakespeare, the late Prof. Kim Jae-Nam was called "the legend of
Shakespeare's study in the nation.
True to its original meaning his translation is vivid and lively, according to the Madame professor.
In early 1980s then the young up-and-rising Prof. Kim replaced the late professor.
She taught at the Dongguk University for the past 33 years before her retirement.
Aside from her professorial duties she created a student drama club, enforcing her students to join in performance of English-language play.
Her students benefitted a lot from the extracurricular activities maintained by over 30 years.
She staged numerous major Shakespeare's dramas including "As You like It," "Measure for Measure," and "The Winter's Tale."
As for the Shakespeare Association of Korea (SAK), Prof. Kim served as its executive director for long, working as the editor of "Shakespeare Review."
Currently SAK is chaired by Prof. Lee Hyon-U of Soon Chun Hyang (SCH) University's Department of British & American Studies.
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