Novel enters 3rd life as Korean stageplay“Days of Wrath,” a French stageplay of the Korean 12-volume novel “Arirang,” is now in Korea.
A must-read for Koreans, “Arirang” illustrates Korean society under Japanese rule with realistic characters and narratives. French writer Pierre Terzian was deeply moved by the book and suggested to the author, Jo Jung-rae, that the novel be adapted for the theater.
That is how the 4,000-page epic reached the stage as “Jours de Colere en Coree.” Mr. Terzian compressed a story that extends from 1894 to 1945 into four days by focusing on main events and characters, though he added two characters.
In his epilogue, Mr. Terzian described Mr. Jo as the Tolstoy of Korea, saying that his book is as powerful as Alex Haley’s “Roots.” Mr. Jo is satisfied with the Frenchman’s work, though he wishes it had included certain parts, such as a scene in which Japanese soldiers use Korean people for target practice.
Mr. Jo, back from France after partaking in the “Jours” opening, predicted the play would be performed in France in May or June 2005.
“Days of Wrath” was published in Korean under the title “Bunnoui Seweol,” and translated by the poet Seong Gwi-su. It will also be published in German and Russian.