A Place Filled with Wisdom

Pavel-to-DMZ Place 7. Forest of Wisdom

The movie Being John Malkovich (1999), which was released over 20 years ago, tells a tale of the hero going into the head of a well-known person through a secret tunnel in the corner of the office. There are times when we really wonder about what a person is thinking, whether the motive is good or bad. Sadly, no one has discovered the secret tunnel in real life. To improvise, can’t looking into someone’s bookshelf be quite a similar experience? Since someone’s bookshelf can be a window into their perspective, can’t it be a part of raw data, if not part of someone’s head?

The Forest of Wisdom in Paju Book City is a library shared by everyone, which collects valuable books and allows everyone to read them. It is a place which holds books donated by scholars, intellectuals, labs, publishers, distribution companies, museums, art galleries, and other places. Looking at the books sorted not according to field, but according to the donator, we get a sense of what kind of person they are, though we do not know them.

I like the name. Forest of “Wisdom”. Maybe because the word wisdom (jihye in Korean) has such a good meaning, there was at least one girl in the class with the name Jihye. There were at least five Jihyes who were my friends. I think the parents of my peers wanted their daughters to be wise. When we hear people sharing knowledge for intellectual conversations or useful information through TV, podcast, or youtube, I feel as though I am getting to know a lot as well. If I could, I would like to see what they are thinking. Since I can’t do that, I want to at least take a look at their bookshelf. I hope that the forest of wisdom will enable me to do this at least partly.

I will introduce Forest of Wisdom, in Paju Book City as the seventh place of pavel-to-DMZ. Even though it does not play as big a role as before, books are still the method of sharing information that has affected human history the most. In the shelves of the “Forest of Wisdom”, many books and literature on the division of Korea are in place. In this place, which is close to the DMZ, I hope that people will able to indirectly experience the DMZ through reading. Also, if you got lost in this forest, it would be highly recommended to stay in the Jijihyang Hotel which is connected to the Forest of Wisdom.

145 Hoedong-gil, Paju-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea / Open 24/7 /

Jijihyang Hotel http://jijihyang.com/

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