Friday, July 14, 2017

Is "The Vegetarian" popular for the wrong reason?

Just finished "The Vegetarian" by Han Kang. It's a Booker-winner and has got rave reviews in the West. It's about a schizophrenic woman (Yeong-hye) who stops eating meat and begins to think that she is a tree. Her life is of course pitiable and sad, and Han Kang portrays her wonderfully with realistic details. But why would anyone care about this? Incorporated in the storyline is a long session involving a video-artist (In-hye's  husband) who has all kinds of wild and immoral fantasy and infatuation around Yeong-hye, and preys on her until he gets his desire fulfilled . This section is visceral and erotic, may be in an unintended way. Is this the reason why so many critics and readers loved it?  

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