Translator caught by Kim il Sung

Translator Carlos Ferrero quotes bit of a piece called Aprender a ser libre (Learning to be free) by Jorge Edwards, whose work had the singular distinction of being banned by both the Castro and Pinochet dictatorships:

I recall a Venezuelan poet of Arab origins who was contracting as a translator in North Korea. The documents he had to translate were headed by entire pages enumerating Kim il Sung’s titles… Our naive poet, a communist activist in Venezuela, began to summarise these titles, to strip verbal attributes from the supreme commander, the father of the people, the benefactor of the motherland. One fine day security officials transported him from his office to a punishment cell, where he remained for a number of years.

One hopes his replacement, Alejandro Cao de Benós, will fare better, although he probably deserves worse.

(Good Kim II piece here by BR Myers. I just wonder, though, whether Stalin really thought he could win his war.)

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