Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Meeting Professor Kim Youngmin . . .

Professor Kim Youngmin
Photo from LinkedIn

In my current work for the Daesan Foundation as literary judge of translated literature, I recently met twice with Professor Kim Youngmin to get acquainted and find out what the foundation needs from me. Through talking with him over coffee, I discovered that he is a man of many hats, as we also see from his LinkedIn site:
English Language and Literature Association of Korea (ELLAK); Lacan and Contemporary Psychoanalysis Society of Korea; International Association of Study of Irish Literatures (IASIL); International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS); Modern Language Association (MLA); American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA); William Butler Yeats Society of Korea; G.M.Hopkins Society; Modern and Contemporary Poetry Society of Korea; The Society of Theory and Criticism.
I expect this is only a partial list for a man who attends 10 conferences each year! Or so he maintained in our first meeting last Saturday. One of those conferences is on the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, and since Professor Kim mentioned that he had done his master's degree on Hopkins, I asked for -- and received -- an explanation of "sprung rhythm," one of the poetic innovations by Hopkins. Thanks to Professor Kim, I finally have some understanding of that poetic technique.

From Professor Kim's business card, I see that he not only belongs to such societies and associations as those above, he has at times governed them, or at least one of them, for his card reads, "Former President, ELLAK (2012-2013)." Additionally, he is "Editor-in-Chief" of "JELL," the "Journal of English Language and Literature," which his card informs us is, "The Outstanding Journal supported the National Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST)." I wonder what MEST means -- ah, I see, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. (That journal 'MEST' be important!). Of course, he has a "Major Field" -- though that should read "Fields" -- "Modern and Postmodern British and American Poetry, Irish and Canadian Literature, Critical Theory, Lacanian Psychoanalysis."

Professor Kim is thus an expert in stuff I learned about at Berkeley but never understood very well. Nevertheless, he and I communicated well enough, on both Saturday and Monday, and he seemed sufficiently satisfied with me to ask if I have any interest in helping to edit JELL. I explained how busy I am already with editing work, but that seemed merely to fire up his enthusiasm. Not the sort of man who easily takes "No" for an answer.

But I really can't see myself finding time . . .



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