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  • Paradise Lost by Yi Sang
  • Translated by Jack Saebyok Jung (bio)


The girl is certainly a photograph of someone. She always remains silent.

The girl has a stomach ache now and then. The cause is someone’s pencil trick. The pencil is poisoned. Whenever it happens the girl turns pale like a human being who swallowed a bullet.

The girl also bleeds now and then. The cause is a wounded butterfly’s coming and perching. That spider web-like tree branch cannot support the butterfly’s weight. The tree branch ends up breaking.

The girl was standing in the middle of a small boat—avoiding the crowd and the butterfly. The cooled water pressure—the cooled air pressure of the glass—left the girl with only the visual. And many readings begin. Inside a closed book or in some crevice in a library she often turns into a “thin thing” of a page and hides. My type metal is mixed with the smell of the girl’s skin. In my bounded book the mark of the girl’s branding iron remains. Not even a strong fragrance can confuse this—. [End Page 341]

People condemned me, saying that the girl is my wife. I don’t want to hear it. It is a lie. Really no man has ever seen the girl.

But it cannot be that the girl is not a wife of someone. In the middle of my womb the girl has given birth to whatever it is— But I have yet to birth it from myself. If this scary knowledge is not thrown out—such a thing—it will end up corroding me like a piece of coal that eats up the body from inside.

I cremated this girl and gave up. When a paper burned into my nostrils, the smell lingered on me until whenever and in such a state I did not try to disappear.

Flesh and Blood’s Chapter

There was a raggedy man almost the same as Christ. But the man could not speak as clearly, and if being quite ignorant is a difference, then that was also a difference compared with Christ.

Years Since Birth Five Ten Six One

It cannot be that I do not assassinate this imitation Christ. It is thick with signs implying the immediate possibility that my one life will be confiscated if that is not done.

A woman with a lame leg—this one person is always approaching me in a position turned away from me. It looks like she demands the return of the original value of my muscles and my bones and my clear blood of a pitifully tiny cubic volume. However—do I have enough gold coins to do that. The fictions I write barely make a few brass coins. This parapet of an indemnity—on the contrary—I demand to be paid for it. However— [End Page 342]

How can she be such a mean woman. It cannot be that I do not run away from this hideous woman.

Only one ivory stick. Only one balloon.

Even the white skull that resides in the grave mound is stubbornly demanding whatever it is from me. Not even thinking about in dreams that the particular signet lost its efficacy long time ago.

(As its replacement I will give up all my intelligence.)

It is said that after seven years all the cells in a human body are replaced to the very last one. For seven years I will dine having nothing to do with this flesh and blood of mine. And it will not be for you people but I will attempt to obtain for seven years a new bloodline also not for me—or are such thoughts not to be thought of.

Is it being said that it needs to be returned. I only need to vomit mud for seven years like a gold fish. No—like a catfish.

Paradise Lost

Angels are nowhere. “Paradise” is an empty lot.

I may meet 2 to 3 angels from time to time. One by one they kiss me with ease. But then suddenly they die right there. Just like bees.

There is a rumor that angels...


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pp. 341-347
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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