The Books that Made me

A place for me to document the books I’ve read and my favorite passage or notes

November 26, 2020

"미래 담론에 대한 해석과 비판이 필요한 것은 미래 예측의 적중률이 낮기 때문이 아니라 많은 미래 예측이 현재에 대한 통제권을 지향하고 있기 때문입니다. 우리는 현재의 미래 담론에서 어떤 미래가 힘을 얻고 있고 어떤 미래가 배제되고 있는지 살펴볼 필요가 있습니다. 미래는 정치의 대상이자 결과입니다."

November 20, 2020

"재경의 목소리가 들려오는 것 같았다. 그래, 굳이 거기까지 가서 볼 필요는 없다니까. 재경의 말이 맞았다. 솔직히 목숨을 걸고 올 만큼 대단한 광경은 아니었다. 하지만 가윤은 이 우주에 와야만 했다. 이 우주를 보고 싶었다. 가윤은 조망대에 서서 시간이 허락하는 한까지 천천히 우주의 모습을 눈에 담았다."

November 09, 2020

"강남이 움직이면 한국 전체가 들썩인다고 해도 과언은 아니다. 세계 어느 나라에도 강남 같은 ‘신도시’는 없다. 굳이 말하면 상하이의 푸둥(浦東) 정도를 떠올릴 수 있는데 푸둥이 강남보다 규묘 면에서 더 클지는 몰라도 국가 전체에 미치는 영향력은 강남과 비교가 되지 않는다."

November 04, 2020

"굳이 시간을 되돌리지 않더라도 우리는 역사를 통해 무수히 많은 선택과 그 결과를 확인할 수 있어요. 세상에 이보다 더 쓸모 있는 학문이 있을까요? 제가 이 책에 '역사의 쓸모'라는 제목을 붙인 까닭이 바로 여기에 있습니다."

October 25, 2020

"도시는 온종일 안개에 덮여 있었다. 언제 어디서부터 그 안개가 피어오르기 시작했는지 모를 일이었다. 마치도 기민한 점령군의 병사들처럼 그것은 소리 없이 스며들어와 집집의 지붕들을 내리덮고, 벽보가 어지러이 붙어 있는 골목골목을 돌아다니며 대문마다의 문패를 훑어보기도 하고, 더러는 담을 넘어와 열린 창문을 통해 함부로 남의 집 침실까지 훔쳐보기도 하면서 어느 틈에 도시를 완전히 장악해버리고 말았다. 어디를 보아도 모두 안개뿐이었다. 안개. 안개."

October 20, 2020

"글을 쓸 때 (혹은 일상을 살아갈 때) 홀로 먼지 속을 헤매고 있는 것처럼 막막한 기분이 들 때가 대부분이지만 가끔은 손에 뭔가 닿은 것처럼 온기가 느껴질 때가 있다."

September 28, 2020

"소설가는 뛰어난 거짓말을 함으로써, 현실에 가까운 허구를 만들어냄으로써, 진실을 어딘가 다른 곳으로 끌어내고 그곳에 새로운 빛을 비출 수 있기 때문입니다. 진실을 있는 그대로 파악하고, 정확하게 묘사하는 일은 사실상 불가능합니다. 그렇기 때문에 우리는 진실을 꾀어내 허구가 있는 곳으로 옮겨놓고, 허구의 형태로 치환하여 진실의 끝자락이라도 붙잡으려 애쓰는 것입니다."

September 25, 2020

"본 연구는 한국인이 지닌 신속과 근면의 뿌리를 식민 경험에서 찾고자 한다. 특히 1960년대 한국의 '재건 체제' 혹은 불도저식 증산, 안보 체제, 나아가 그 원류인 만주국(1932~45) 체제에서 그 뿌리를 찾을 것이다."

September 20, 2020

"고백으로부터 시작해야 할 것 같다. 나는 사람들을 뜨겁게 좋아하는 편이 아니다. 오히려 인간 혐오증이 있다고까지도 할 수 있다. 지하철에서 양옆에 사람이 앉는 게 싫어서 구석자리를 찾아 맨 앞칸까지 가곤 한다."

September 19, 2020

"나처럼 겉으로 보기에는 멀쩡하지만 속은 곪아 있는, 애매한 사람들이 궁금하다. 세상은 아주 밝거나 지나치게 어두운 부분에만 초점을 맞추고 있는 것 같다. 나의 우울을 이해하지 못했던 주변의 반응이 떠오른다. 도대체 어떤 모습과 상황이어야 이해받을 수 있을까. 아니 이해의 영역이긴 할까? 아무쪼록 '나만 그런 게 아니었네' 혹은 '세상에 이런 사람도 있네'라는 감상이 남는 책이 되었으면 하는 바람이다."

September 10, 2020

August 27, 2020

"Ifemelu showed her the cover of the novel. She did not want to start a conversation. Especially not with Kelsey. She recognized in Kelsey the nationalism of liberal Americans who copiously criticized America but did not like you to do so; they expected you to be silent and grateful, and always reminded you of how much better than wherever you had come from America was."

August 15, 2020

"The core argument of this book is that African Americans were unconstitutionally denied the means and the right to integration in middle-class neighborhoods, and because this denial was state-sponsored, the nation is obligated to remedy it."

August 05, 2020

"Do you know what she came for? Blue eyes. New, blue eyes, she said. Like she was buying shoes. "I'd like a pair of new blue eyes." She must have asked you for them for a very long time, and you hadn't replied."

July 31, 2020

"The underlying reality is that capitalism is not working as it should or as it can. The mythology that one is paid what one is worth must be seen for what it is."

July 19, 2020

"Then again, who am I kidding? I'm in most places at least once, and in 1943, I was just about everywhere."

July 11, 2020

"I have spent much of my studies searching for the right question by which I might fully understand the breach between the world and me."

June 19, 2020

"What I propose in the following is a reconsideration of the human condition from the vantage point of our newest experiences and our most recent fears."

May 25, 2020

"She would not be living on this planet for more than a few years. But if the history of mankind was her own history, in a way she was thousands of years old."

May 10, 2020

"It is comforting, however, and a source of profound relief to think that man is only a recent invention, a figure not yet two centuries old, a new wrinkle in our knowledge, and that he will disappear again as soon as that knowledge has discovered a new form."

April 24, 2020

"I am only seven, but I understand that it is this fact, more than any other, that makes my family different: we don’t go to school."

"We think we can transform the stranger, without cost or sacrifice, into the familiar and the known, and we can't. What should we do?"

January 11, 2020

“The way we gather matters. Gatherings consume our days and help determine the kind of world we live in, in both our intimate and public realms.”

December 27, 2019

"In February 1989, Eva Ansley and I opened out new nonprofit law center in Tuscaloosa, dedicated to providing free, quality legal services to condemned men and women on death row in Alabama. We never thought it would be easy, but it turned out to be even harder than we had expected."

September 04, 2019

"In 2011, I got to the point where I could not bear to hear another news story."

August 03, 2019

"My hope is that this book will make conversations about morality, politics, and religion more common, more civil, and more fun, even in mixed company. My hope is that it will help us to get along."

July 06, 2019

"You may think, as I once did, that I’m primarily in the business of serving good food. Actually, though, food is secondary to something that matters even more. In the end, what’s most meaningful is creating positive, uplifting outcomes for human experiences and human relationships. Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard."

May 28, 2019

"As a historian, I cannot give people food or clothes--but I can try to offer some clarity, thereby helping to level the global playing field. If this empowers even a handful of additional people to join the debate about the future of our species, I have done my job."

May 23, 2019

The majestic piece serves as the canon of sociological and historical interpretation of art. It's brain-catching and rather comprehensive than what it is widely and simplistically recognized with a particular label--Marxist.

May 12, 2019

"소년은 곧 밖으로 뛰어나왔다. 그리고 신기롭게 주위를 둘러보았다. 이곳은 가평이 아니라 서울이다. 나는 그렇게도 오고 싶어 마지않았던 서울에 기어코 오고야 말았다--이 생각이 소년의 눈에 보이는 것, 귀에 들리는 것, 그 모든 것에 감격을 주었다. 아무리 시골서 처음 올라온 소년의 마음에라도, 결코 그다지는 신기로울 수 없고, 또 아름다울 수 없는 이곳 '천변풍경'이, 오직 이곳이 서울이라는 그 까닭만으로, 그렇게도 아름다웠고, 또 신기하였다."

April 13, 2019

"Extreme events and disasters pose exceptional challenges for governments and societies, but their potential to cause physical damage and social suffering makes them crucial tests of social protection systems."

February 18, 2019

"And it has now been more than twenty years since I became a page OK'er--a position that exists only at The New Yorker, where you query-proofread pieces and manage them, with the editor, the author, a fact checker, and a second proofreader, until they go to press."

December 27, 2018

"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can either compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come."

November 13, 2018

"What follows is an attempt to put down, briefly and simply, how I came to the craft, what I know about it now, and how it's done. It's about the day job; it's about the language."

August 21, 2018

"한반도 상황은 국제 권력 구도가 변화하는 고비마다 요동쳤다."

August 17, 2018

"오늘은 M이 생애 마흔여덟 번째 면접을 보러 가는 날이다. 날씨는 이만하면 괜찮고 시간도 넉넉하다."

August 12, 2018

"이지만을 따지면 타인과 충돌한다. 타인에게만 마음을 쓰면 자신의 발목이 잡힌다. 자신의 의지만 주장하면 옹색해진다. 여하튼 인간 세상은 살기 힘들다."

August 08, 2018

Fabulously written, yet an unpretentious book about how the arising big data research may enable us to understand the human world better than ever before. 

August 01, 2018

"For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments."

July 15, 2018

"The black man wants to be white. The white man is desperately trying to achieve the rank of man."

July 09, 2018

"The fact of this transformation-the fact, that is, that financial markets now appear as a force of their own while simultaneously mediating an increasing range of social relations-is incontrovertible."

June 25, 2018

"Those people and organizations who use culture toward their own ends know that the rational is no match for the affective. And we are thus quite vulnerable to the tools deployed by the most powerful forces in society."

June 14, 2018

"For every patriot fighting for a free Korea, or for any unlucky Korean bastard fighting on behalf of Japan, there were ten thousand compatriots on the ground and elsewhere who were just trying to eat. In the end, your belly was your emperor."

May 15, 2018

"What he had done was a crime only in retrospect, and he had always been a law-abiding citizen, because Hitler's orders, which had had certainly executed to the best of his ability, had possessed "the force of law" in the Third Reich."

April 22, 2018

"Pictures taken by photographers out in the field of the moment of (or just before) death are among the most celebrated and often reproduced of war photographs."

April 06, 2018

"The fish market at the center of the world"

March 19, 2018

"Yet before dinner was over, the three men had agreed they would go out together tomorrow on the March to the Pentagon, and that they would probably-all consideration given-seek to get arrested."

February 26, 2018

"The puzzle is about why the relatively small numbers that give the word minority its most simple meaning and usually imply political and military weakness do not prevent minorities from being objects of fear and of rage."

December 23, 2017

"But he had no sense of himself without Udayan. from his earliest memories, at every point, his brother was there."

October 31, 2017

"To young women who, above all, hoped to escape the fate of their own mothers, motherhood seemed to be the ultimate trap."

September 17, 2017

"Examining and exploring how communication is employed to link gender and power can create a child-like sense of wonderment in us. It can disappoint. It can infuriate. It can make us smile at the human condition. It can make us shake our head in concern."

September 03, 2017

"I did not choose my family because I wanted it to represent all other families, but because it inspired me."

August 14, 2017

Comprehensive, thought-provoking, and in-depth analysis on America's declining social engagement. Concisely written, but invites readers to think about multi-dimensional reasons and consequences of community collapse.

August 08, 2017

"나는 왜 정치를 하는가? 정치는 현실에 발을 딛고 열린 가슴으로 숭고한 가치를 추구하는 것입니다. 진흙에서 연꽃을 피우듯, 아무리 욕을 먹어도 결국 세상을 바꾸는 것은 정치라는 신념 하나로 저는 정치를 해왔습니다."

August 06, 2017

"Maman died today. Or yesterday maybe, I don't know. I got a telegram from the home: "Mother deceased. Funeral tomorrow. Faithfully yours." That doesn't mean anything. Maybe it was yesterday."

Thérèse Desqueyroux

July 29, 2017

"She didn't listen to him, her body and soul oriented now toward another universe where people were avid to know, to understand-and, in the phrase Jean had used with great self-satisfaction, “become what they truly were.”"

July 23, 2017

"He wondered, as he had many times wondered before, whether he himself was a lunatic. Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one."

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© Kyuwon Lee, 2020.