An Affair with Korea

Memories of South Korea in the 1960s

Vincent S. R. Brandt

  • Published: August 2015
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 248 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Distributed for: Center for Korea Studies, University of Washington
  • Series: Center For Korea Studies Publications
  • Contents

In 1966 Vincent S. R. Brant lived in Sokp'o, a poor and isolated South Korean fishing village on the coast of the Yellow Sea, carrying out social anthropological research. At that time, the only way to reach Sokp'o, other than by boat, was a two hour walk along foot paths. This memoir of his experiences in a village with no electricity, running water, or telephone shows Brandt's attempts to adapt to a traditional, preindustrial existence in a small, almost completely self-sufficient community. This vivid account of his growing admiration for an ancient way of life that was doomed, and that most of the villagers themselves despised, illuminates a social world that has almost completely disappeared.
Vincent S. R. Brandt lives in rural Vermont.

1. Introduction: Upon the Handles of the Lock

2. The Song of Songs as Cultural Text: From the European Enlightenment to Israeli Biblicism

3. Rechnitz's Botany of Love: The Song of Seaweed

4. The Biblical Ethnographies of "Edo and Enam" and the Quest for the Ultimate Song



"I can recommend this highly readable memoir without hesitation to anyone who would like to become immersed in the daily life of a pre-modern far-eastern society at a time when it was still largely pursuing its slow-paced ancient ways of life - and being able to do so through the eyes of a most engaging, perceptive and sympathetic witness."
-Arthur H. Westing, Brattleboro Reviews