Drama. Asian & Asian American Studies. Translated by Jake Levine. Kim Kyung Ju’s BUTTERFLY SLEEP is a historical drama based in the early period of the Joseon dynasty. He relies on a mixture of absurdism, magic realism, and dark humor in order to tell an existentialist allegory of Korea's rapid development. In this sense, BUTTERFLY SLEEP is a story about the fractured soul of the nation. Even more so, it is a lesson in consolation. As BUTTERFLY SLEEP unfolds, we drift in and out of song, as music is made in order to comfort the characters in the play. With lyricism and grace, Kim suggests that the only way the ghosts of the nation can be consoled is through direct confrontation. Confront them first, then sing them a lullaby.
Kim Kyung Ju is a Seoul-based poet, dramatist and performance artist. His plays have been produced abroad in several countries and his poetry and essays are widely anthologized in South Korea. He has written and translated over a dozen books of poetry, essays, and plays, and has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the Korean government's Today's Young Artist Prize and the Kim Su-yong Contemporary Poetry Award. He is the author of WHALE AND VAPOR, translated by Jake Levine (Black Ocean, 2020), BUTTERFLY SLEEP (Tupelo Press, 2019), BRED FROM THE EYES OF A WOLF, translated by Jake Levine (Plays Inverse Press, 2018), and I AM A SEASON THAT DOES NOT EXIST IN THIS WORLD, translated by Jake Levine (Black Ocean, 2016).Author City: Seoul KOR