Vaseline Buddha: A Tragicomic Odyssey
“One achieves a kind of serenity when we delve into this book. I find that eccentrics like Jung are needed in literature.”
— Achim Stanislawski
Written by Jung Young Moon
Translated from the Korean by Yewon Jung
Vaseline Buddha is truly meaningful, rewarding literature. What makes this novel so fascinating is its permanent liminality and ambiguity: it is exactly the completely obvious which remains ultimately cryptic; it is exactly the linguistic hyper-precision which leads to confusion; it is exactly the “boring” stuff which becomes thrilling at another level; and it is exactly the humorous, ironic attitude of the author-narrator that proves his deep seriousness. Join us at the Dallas Institute for a chance to explore these themes and to find our own pocket of serenity.
About Vaseline Buddha
“If the purpose of travel, in a way, is to shatter illusions about an unknown world, my travels are true to their purpose in that respect. A logic could be developed, a logic that’s perhaps forced, that it’s best not to travel at all in order to maintain an illusion, and in fact, when I considered traveling, I was always conflicted between maintaining an illusion by not traveling, and seeing an illusion get shattered by traveling.”
A tragicomic odyssey told through free association from South Korea’s most enigmatic and handsome contemporary author scrubs the depths of the human psyche to achieve a higher level of consciousness equal to Zen meditation. The story opens when our sleepless narrator thwarts a would-be thief outside his moonlit window, then delves into his subconscious imagination to explore a variety of geographical and mental locations—real, unreal, surreal—to explore the very nature of reality: from a treacherous flight in the mountains of Nepal to a park bench in Budapest to a bizarre conversation in Amsterdam to an encounter with an inflatable rubber dolphin floating in a small river in provincial France.
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
ISBNs: 978-1941920-34-3 (paperback) | 978-1941920-35-0 (ebook)