If you know the movie Yaksok and WildCard and the play Yongddigaeddi and Bulggeo? What are the common features of these works? One is that there are famous and succeeded on commercial. The other is to be written by Lee Man-hee. He was a student in the Dept. of Indian Philosophy and was graduated from Dongguk University (DU); and now he is a professor in the Dept. of Creative Writings. Let's meet him and hear his thoughts...............................................................................Editorial
Buddhism and Prof. Lee
Prof. Lee is deeply influenced by Buddhism. When he was in high school, he quit because of financial and health problems. His mother recommended that he go to a Buddhist temple to heal his problems. He was able to attend DU after receiving a scholarship as a result of a monk's recommendation. During his junior year, he decided to go to a temple. "I needed the new experience because university life was boring and did not satisfy me. To prevent changing my decision, I told my friends about it and they organized a farewell dinner. So I couldn't change the decision," smiled Prof. Lee. "Now I had plenty of time to read books and think about life. Some of my articles were inspired by this experience. Buddhism gave me a larger variety of effects than I expected. Critics say that they can find Buddhist characteristics in my works."
The play and Prof. Lee
After graduation Prof. Lee taught at a number of high and middle schools in the provinces. He taught and prepared his works from his experiences. "I had very strange experiences in the provinces. For example, I saw leprosy patients near Mokpo, Jeollanam-Do. This helped me to create my literary style. To inject reality into my works, I go anywhere to learn dialects and experience how others are living," said Prof. Lee. This isn't always good for him, because he hoped to come back to the theater, not back to school as a teather. "These days are the hardest ones in my life. I don't know how the life of an unknown writer will end. I ask myself, 'Are the days of being popular writing coming to me?' I have waited the chance and the pain of waiting made me stronger."
The movie and Prof. Lee
He started writing by accident. At first, he didn't like writers who changed from damage to film. "My friend asked me to meet a movie director again and again. I finally met the director and said "yes" to his request while I was drunk," laughed Prof. Lee. He thinks that the charm of films is different from that of drama. "The charm of drama is lively. It can change a little day by day and is easy to communicate to audiences. But film needs a well-prepared plan. If it fails to seize the audience, many investors loose. So the producer regulates the story and scenes. When I write a scenario, I feel I'm struggling with audience that doesn't concentrated on my film. I have to make them concentrate and listen to what I say to them. I like this kind of thrill. Now I am preparing a big-scale movie that is even more challenging," he said.
DU and Prof. Lee
Prof. Lee graduated from DU and came back as a professor. Why did he come back? He hoped to teach and develop students because there was no special department that taught play writing. "At first I confused about writing plays and there was nobody to teach me. Now DU students don't have this problem and are properly taught," said Prof. Lee. When he came back to teach, he was amazed of the University's atmosphere and the ability of student writing. "They were energetic and lively. DU is famous for literature and student develop with it. Some students will benefit greatly," added.
Nowadays he prepares lectures and musicals. "The reason I accepted the challenge of the musical is simple. One is to decrease the loyalty to give foreign country. The other is that I like a challenge. I wish to emphasize the word challenge to students. I became a monk to experience a new life and this led me to write. Don't be afraid to experience anything and It's a special right of university students."
Seo Yong-geun komet99@dongguk,edu
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