Saturday, July 06, 2013

Guilt Tripping the Light Fantastic . . .


Yes, guilty! I am consumed with guilt. Not terribly evil guilt. Just mid-evil guilt. Mea medium culpa.

I've been so busy of late -- editing papers as the go-to person for grammar-and-style help in various fields, evaluating translations in my role as literary judge of poems and stories for the Daesan Foundation, and teaching graduate-level research writing for EWIS (Ewha Writing-Intensive School) in my job as EPO professor -- that I've had little to no time for friends, including my regular coffee-klatcher, Annie, who grew so concerned that she finally went to the extraordinary trouble of actually composing an email to ask:
where has jeffery been these days? hope ewis is going well!!!!
Notice all those exclamation marks! I rather doubt Annie's really that excited about how my EWIS course is going. No, those are distractors, emphatic vertical punctuations to distract me from noticing that she -- like too many young people these days -- never learned the rules for proper capitalization. But I noticed anyway -- not that I'd ever make issue in an email of such a grievous error in an email. I would never stoop to such self-righteousness. Why, I get all morally indignant just thinking about such condescension! Besides, I needed -- in my reply -- to be seen subjecting myself to moral scrutiny and openly proclaiming my guilt, that being the expected ethical thing to do, so I wrote back to Annie, and with all proper contrition, admitted my guilt:
Dear Annie,

I've often thought of you and felt GUILTY for not writing any of my amusing e-notes. I have been diverted by various editing jobs that pile on top of my EWIS work, which itself requires daily editing! But for the past week, I've also been reading a hundred-and-something pages of translated literature for the Daesan Foundation in my role as literary judge. Some of it is rather dreary stuff, but there are also some literary gems. Either way, I have to read closely and take some notes. It's thus time-consuming. And I have another batch . . . to deal with soon . . .

So . . . where has Annie been these days? Hope EWIS is going well!!!! (See, I believe in recycling -- waste not, want not.)

Good to see that you've missed me, too . . .


See, in my ethic of contrition, I said nothing to Annie about her e. e. cummings orthographic style. Not only am I too moral for that sort of thing, I'm also even too courteous. Courtly. Chivalrous. Knightly. I belong in the long-be-gone days of yore . . .

. . . where I would, of course, openly express myself Medievally GUILTY.

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At 6:05 AM, Anonymous erdal said...

Payed a visit to my old office. Despite having nothing whatsoever to do with either Korea or literature they appear to receive the "_list - Books from Korea" magazine. Picked it up, was pleasantly surprised to see who penned the afterword. You get around.

Do these _list people randomly mail their magazine worldwide to every institution that has a univerity connection? Must cost them an arm and a leg. Is there a concerted effort you know of to promote all things Korean abroad, not only their core industrial stuff?

At 7:36 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

What a surprise -- and coincidence!

The Literature Translation Institute of Korea receives government funding and is making an effort to promote Korean literature abroad.

I'm guessing that your old office has something to do with translation and that LTI Korea sent the magazine for that reason.

I don't know much about Korean literature, but I've gotten involved in it through my wife (as the afterword probably already made clear).

Speaking of such, a pile of Daesan-sent manuscripts awaits my judgmental scrutiny . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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