고은 시인의 소나무
강릉에 심어진 소나무는
지금 3월의 눈송이에
고은 시인의 영국소식을 듣는다
고은, 영국 출판사 통해 성추행 부정
최 “문화계 조사기구 생기면 증언
영국 신문 가디언은 2일자(현지시간) ‘시인 고은 성추행 폭로 뒤 한국 교과서에서 지워지다’라는 제목의 기사를 통해 고은이 성추행 주장을 부정했다고 전했다.
고은은 “나는 최근 의혹에서 내 이름이 거론된 데 대해 유감이며 나는 이미 내 행동이 초래했을지 모를 의도하지 않은 고통에 대해 뉘우쳤다”면서도
하지만 나는 몇몇 개인이 제기한 상습적인 비행(habitual misconduct)에 대한 비난은 단호하게(flatly) 부인한다”고 덧붙였다. 그는 또 “진실이 밝혀지고 논란이 정리될 때까지 기다려야 하겠지만 사실과 맥락이 바로 전달되지 않을 외국의 친구들에게 확언할 수 있는 것은 나 자신과 아내에게 부끄러울 일은 하지 않았다는 것”이라고 말했다.
고은은 이어 “일부에서 제기한 상습적인 추행 의혹을 단호히 부인한다”며 “지금 당장 할 수 있는 말은 내가 한 사람으로서, 시인으로서 명예를 지키며 집필을 계속할 것이라고 믿는다는 것”이라고 말했다.
가디언은 고은의 작품을 영어권에 번역해 출판해온 블러드액스 출판사가 고은의 문학을 여전히 지지한다는 입장도 소개했다.
블러드액스의 편집자인 닐 애슬리는 “고 시인이 종양 치료를 위해 병원에 지난달 입원했고 지금 회복 중이지만 수술과 그에게 가해진 공적 비난의 결과 쇠약해진 상태”라며 “고은의 시를 교과서에서 지우고 한국의 가장 뛰어난 작가 중 한 명으로서 그가 누려온 특권을 포기하라는 압력이 계속되고 있는데 이는 매우 극단적인 반응”이라고 말했다.
고은 시인은 국내 언론의 인터뷰 제안에는 일절 응하지 않고 있다. 본지는 시인에게 접촉을 시도했으나 전화 통화가 이뤄지지 않았다
고은 시인은 국내 언론의 인터뷰 제안에는 일절 응하지 않고 있다. 본지는 시인에게 접촉을 시도했으나 전화 통화가 이뤄지지 않았다.
고은 시인의 성추행 의혹을 폭로한 최영미 시인은 4일 오후 자신의 페이스북에 글을 올려 “제가 괴물에 대해 매체를 통해 한 말과 글은 사실”이라며 고은의 입장을 반박했고 “문화예술계 성폭력을 조사하는 공식 기구가 출범하면 나가서 상세히 밝히겠다”고 했다.
Poet Ko Un erased from Korean textbooks after sexual harassment claims
The 84-year-old Nobel favourite ‘flatly denies charges of habitual misconduct’, writing in a statement that he had ‘done nothing which might bring shame on my wife or myself’
Korea’s most famous literary export Ko Un, a former Buddhist monk who is often named a frontrunner for the Nobel prize in literature, is at the centre of sexual harassment accusations. It has led to his poems being removed from textbooks and the shuttering of a library established by Seoul local government in his name.
The allegations, which have been denied by Ko in a statement provided to the Guardian, surfaced in the form of a poem by the poet Choi Young-mi. In The Beast, published in December, Choi did not name the major poet she accused of sexual harassment in the poem, instead calling him En.
“Poet K warned me of his bad habit of groping young women. I blame my fading memory as I sat next to him some time later. Me too. My silk blouse that I borrowed from my sister for the outing was creased. Years later I met him again at
a year-end party thrown by a publishing company. He sat next to a married editor and as usual he was groping her. ‘You, the cranky old man!’ I yelled at him and ran away …” she wrote, according to a translation in the Korea Times . The subject has been widely identified in Korean media as Ko.
In an interview with the Korea Times, Choi claimed the poet’s behaviour was an open secret, and that writers, editors and publishers have been victims of his “bad habit”.
“People like him were members of the editorial boards of major literary
quarterlies, through which aspiring writers and poets make their literary debut or publish their works,” she said. “If someone refuses their request to curry favour with them sexually, retaliation awaits them. Their works won’t be chosen for publication.”
Official responses to the allegations have snowballed over the last week. The Korea Times reported that 11 of Ko’s poems were to be removed from school textbooks, while the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper published an image of the Maninbo Library, which had featured Ko’s handwritten literary works, covered with white sheets. A Seoul Metropolitan Government official told the paper: “We started to
close the space in the afternoon of Tuesday as we couldn’t delay the decision any longer with more people speaking up and revealing what the poet did in detail. When we sent him a text message to inform him that the Maninbo Library will be shut down, Ko sent a reply, ‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for me.’”
The 84-year-old poet is widely acclaimed both inside and outside Korea. Before he was a major literary figure, Ko was a Buddhist monk for a decade, until he left the clergy in 1962 and became a writer. His Maninbo collection contains 4,001 poems featuring the names of 5,600 people – 30 years of work that stemmed from an oath he made while in prison for political activism: to memorialise every
The author of more than 150 volumes of poetry, Ko was described by Allen Ginsberg as “a magnificent poet, combination of Buddhist cognoscente, passionate political libertarian, and naturalist historian”.
Neil Astley, at his UK publisher Bloodaxe Books, gave the Guardian a statement from Ko, in which he denied the allegations. “I regret that my name has been brought up in the recent allegations. I have already expressed regret for any unintended pain that my behaviour may have caused. However, I flatly deny charges of habitual misconduct that some individuals have brought up against me,” said Ko. “In
Korea I would simply wait for the passage of time to bring the truth to light and settle the controversy. However, to my foreign friends, to whom facts and contexts are not readily available, I must affirm that I have done nothing which might bring shame on my wife or myself. All I can say at the moment is that I believe that my writing will continue, with my honour as a person and a poet maintained.”
Astley said that Ko was hospitalised last month for treatment of a tumour, and “and is now in recovery but weakened physically by the operation as well as by the effects and consequences of the public shaming of him”. The publisher added that what had been published in the Korean press so far was “still based on one person’s allegations, supported by unsubstantiated comment from other quarters, despite the impression given here and elsewhere of wider proven misconduct”.
“The response to all this in Korea has gone to extremes, including removing Ko Un’s poetry from school texts and pressuring him to give up various privileges he has enjoyed as one of his country’s most esteemed and feted writers. His fall from
grace, following the scandal, is in part a reaction against the celebrity status and public adulation he has had in Korea far above what any writers in the west would have known,” said Astley, adding that Bloodaxe “stand[s] by Ko Un’s literary legacy, which is now in the process of being erased in Korea, but would not condone the alleged personal misconduct in any way”.