Saturday, March 23, 2013

Old Seoul, Old Seochon

donA just published the first volume of a history of Seoul written by Professor CHOI Jong-hyun (Hanyang University Urban Planning and Engineering) and KIM Chang-hui (dongA Ilbo), centered as it should be around my favorite Seoul neighborhood: Seochon - Inwangsan - Gyeongbokgung - Sajik-dan... Volume 2 will lead us towards the East (Dongdaemun) and Southeast (Gwanghuimun), and volume 3 along Cheonggyecheon and other parts of Jongno.

The book is said to be very lively, and to make you feel as if you roamed the alleyways of old Seoul, like in "Les Miserables". And you know how I feel for Seoul alleyways*!

I can't wait to read it, and I hope the book will soon be available in English. Why not in French (personal message to French readers who love Seoul and work in / study / teach urbanism)?

Old Seoul / "오래된 서울"
Written by Choi Jong-hyun and Kim Chang-hui
364 pages, dongA publications
ISBN-10: 8996787221 - ISBN-13: 9788996787228

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* "Seoul needs alleyways. By "alleyways", I don't necessarily mean the last capillaries irrigating the actual "Seoul Intra Muros" ("Sadaemun", the original city surrounded by its fortress), but also the kind of inclusions that extend Seoul, the places where the city can freely and randomly stretch, grow more complex, and reach deeper, these intimate scars where your own mind can't help but wander." ("Magok District: SIM City as in "Seoul Intra Muros"? Alleyways as in "Seoul Inter Muros"?"). PS: I just finished a short story about alleyways for my collection of fictions devoted to Seoul...

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