Dec. 11, 2014 / Issue No. 662

Seoul Selection Giving Away More Titles
Stop by our bookshop to pick up more great books for literally nothing

Seoul Selection’s free book giveaway program continues. Stop by our bookshop in Gwanghwamun to pick up a free copy of one of the titles below (while supplies last, of course).

The institutional basics: 7 copies
Korea up close: 10 copies
Korea through her birds: 5 copies
Jumong: Founder of Goguryeo: 8 copies
Once around the sun: 20 copies
Suro: The First King of Gaya: 7 copies
Writing for peace: 6 copies
Dangun Wanggeom: Founder of the First Korean Kingdom: 6 copies
A yang for every yin: 5 copies
The Moon of the mind rises in empty space: 6 copies
The Globalizing world and the human community: 6 copies
Seaweed and Shamans: 4 copies
My husband the Poet: 5 copies
Lee Myung-se: 5 copies
Im Sang-soo: 5 copies
Kim Jee-woon: 5 copies
Hong Sangsoo: 3 copies
Kim Ki-young: 7 copies
Lee Chang-dong: 4 copies
Four Rookie Directors: 5 copies
미국인을 매혹시킨 리더 수키캥: 10 copies
연애소설 읽는 로봇: 10 copies
목격담, UFO 는 어디서 오는가: 10 copies
기적에서 성숙으로: 8 copies


A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.




‘Swan Lake,’ Presented by the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater

A key theater in Novosibirsk, Asian Russia’s most populated city, and Siberia, the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre was built in 1944, and is actually the country’s largest theater — surpassing even the Bolshoi Theatre. Watch them perform the legendary winter classic, “Swan Lake.” A ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875 through 1876, “Swan Lake” has become an indispensable classic in the Western canon. Although the origins of the story are highly disputed, the libretto is likely based on a story by German author Johann Karl August Musaus, which provides the general plot. The Russian folktale “The White Duck” is also similar, implying another possible source. Tchaikovsky’s contemporaries testified that he was fascinated with the tragic life of Bavarian King Ludwig II, who had a lifelong interest in swans and who may have become the prototype for the ballet’s Prince Siegfried. Whatever the source, this production will be conducted by Evgeny Volynsky, who serves as the theater’s music director.

VENUE: Sejong Center for the Performing Arts, Grand Theater
PERIOD: Dec. 12-14
ADMISSION: KRW 50,000–300,000
GETTING THERE: Gwanghwamun Station 광화문역 (Line 5), Exit 8

Make Your Christmas Special with High Street Market

Christmas is only a couple of weeks away, which  means it’s time to start preparing your ultimate holiday feast. High Street Market offers everything you need to prepare the perfect dinner for your friends or family. They also offer their own high-quality turkey dinners, all made ready to order using only the best ingredients. 
Delivery is also available all over korea. To ensure timely delivery, be sure to order now before things get backed up!

MORE INFO: T. 02-2201-0652,

Music Show Wedding Presents its Special Christmas Discount 

Interested in seeing the hit show Music Show Wedding? Well, if you bring any “red-color item” during December weekdays to their ticket booth, you get a 25 percent discount on your admission! 
Obviously, this deal doesn’t last long, so gather your red items while you still can.

MORE INFO: T. 02-739-8288,

Richard II

Richard II is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful plays, a revealing tale about the torturous lures of power as well as the importance of self-realization. The story follows the last two living years of Richard II of England as he tries to suppress a rebellion in Ireland. After exiling his cousin Bolingbroke and seizing the Duke of Gloucester’s assets, the king is accused of squandering funds to fuel his campaign in Ireland. The nobles, in turn, engage in plot to overthrow Richard II by exploiting his absence when he personally leads the charge in Ireland. Bolingbroke eventually crowns himself the new king, and Richard is imprisoned. The murder, death, deceit and paranoia that follow lead to the most important realization in Bolingbroke’s life, a personal discovery he makes after taking a religious voyage to Jerusalem.

VENUE: National Theater of Korea
PERIOD: Dec. 18-28
MORE INFO: T. 02-2280-4114/6,
ADMISSION: KRW 20,000–50,000
GETTING THERE: Dongguk Univ. Station 동대입구 (Line 3), Exit 2

Universal Ballet Presents, ‘The Nutcracker’

The Universal Ballet Company has dancers and staff from more than a dozen countries throughout Europe, the United States and Asia, blending the grace of Asian philosophy with the strength found in Western classical ballet. Dedicated to preserving tradition while adapting to contemporary progressions, it is one of Korea’s leading ballet companies. On a snowy Christmas Eve, Clara throws a party at her house. Once the tree is finished being decorated, everyone celebrates and admires its beauty. But as the clock strikes eight, a mysterious figure enters: Clara’s godfather, a talented toymaker who has brought gifts for the children. One of the toys he brings is a wooden nutcracker carved into the shape of a little man. Clara takes a liking to the nutcracker, although the other children ignore it for the more flashy toys. What follows is an adventure involving a nutcracker growing to life size, an army of gingerbread soldiers, a mouse king, tin soldiers and dolls that come to life. The ballet is a holiday favorite in Korea.

VENUE: Universal Arts Center
PERIOD: Dec. 19-31
MORE INFO: T. 070-7124-1798,
ADMISSION: KRW 10,000–200,000
GETTING THERE: Achasan Station 아차산역 (Line 5), Exit 4. Walk 3 minutes.

Fulbright Forum: Flipped Learning in the 21st Century Korean Classroom

Fulbright Junior Researcher Quan Quan Nguyen will be lecturing on the “flipped classroom” and its potential in the Korean classroom. From the Fulbright newsletter:

“Pioneered by two American high school chemistry teachers in 2007, the flipped classroom model offers a potential solution. The premise is simple: NO Lectures during class. Instead, teachers create lessons on videos for students to watch at home and students come ready the next day to engage in activities testing their knowledge based on what they’ve learned.

In a traditional Korean educational setting, this concept is completely antithetical. It fosters creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking—pursuits that arguably waste valuable time for memorizing and ingesting content for high-stakes exams like the suneung. This, along with Korea’s obsession with academic excellence and private education, put flipped classrooms in a precarious yet exciting position. How will ‘flipping’ redefine learning and the roles of teachers and students alike? What are the setbacks and benefits? Can this idea work in the Korean cultural context?”

VENUE: Fulbright Building
DATE: Dec. 19, 7PM
MORE INFO: See this link for RSVP info.
GETTING THERE: See this link.

RASKB Excursion: City Shopping Spree

This tour is a hodgepodge of culture, sightseeing and fun. The first stop is the Gangnam Terminal Market area. Well-known for its flower markets, this area also holds a vast array of Christmas tree decorations and clothing shops. Here you can find one of Korea’s most extensive selections of flowers. Both fresh cut and artificial flowers are available in great quantity. After the meeting, participants head off to Jangan Pyoung Antique Market, which offers an amazing selection of beautiful Korean antiques for every budget. The final destination is Garak Market, one of the city’s top produce markets.

VENUE: Seoul
DATES: Dec. 13
MORE INFO: See this link.
ADMISSION: KRW 32,000–38,000
GETTING THERE: See link above.



Alley lined with jokbal, gamjatang and broiled fish eateries near Jongno 3-ga. Photographed by Robert Koehler.


Seoul Selection’s Free Book Giveaway – Our free book give-away continues! Check out the list in last week’s newsletter here

Seoul Selection Offline Bookshop Sale  One of the greatest repositories of Korea-related English-language books anywhere, Seoul Selection is offering a 10% sale on any and all books published by Seoul Selection purchased from our OFFLINE bookshop next to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Looking for Translators – Seoul Selection is looking for a few good translators (Korean to English) for general translation work. Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to Kyehyun at Experienced translators only.
Seoul Selection eBooks – You can purchase some Seoul Selection titles in ebook format via (for Kindle) and Apple’s iBookstore. Titles include Ask a Korean Dude, Moon Tides, Doing Business in Korea, Once Around the Sun, and seven volumes of our Korean Film Directors series: BONG Joon-ho, IM Kwon-taek, KIM Jee-woon, LEE Chang-dong, LEE Man-hee, PARK Chan-wook, and SHIN Sang-ok.
Send Your Event Info – If you would like to advertise any upcoming events you are organizing, please send us the press release material at by the preceding Friday in order for it to appear in the following Tuesday’s issue.

Freelance Contributors Wanted – SEOUL Magazine needs writers who are fluent in both Korean and English. Writers should have a strong interest in Korean culture and be able to interview Koreans. Send your resume and writing samples to

We Buy & Sell Used Books – Seoul Selection buys and sells used books in English. Unlike our regular selection of publications that specialize in Korea-related topics, our Used Book section carries books on all subjects. It’s all part of our effort to make life easier for the English-speaking community.


SEOUL (December 2014)

Buy Books at Seoul Selection’s ONLINE Bookshop!









An Asia Internet History: First Decade(1980 1990)

Busy Koreans : Essays on Contemporary Culture and Society of South Korea in East Asian Context

Bi-lingual Edition Modern Korean Literature Set 6

2000 Essential Korean Words Intermediate


No Tears For the Dead

The Tunnel

My Boy

Man On High Heels


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