“In a word, she is ordinary. Ordinary not in the sense of average, but in the sense of a nonspecific majority among which it would be meaningless to attempt to make a distinction. One cannot conclude that she is not beautiful: ordinary beauty, that degree of beauty possessed by most young women, is also possessed by her, but she is beautiful not because she is a young woman but because she is ordinary. Possibly because hers is an impersonal ordinariness that no one could hate, too strong to be lorded over by a queen yet not strong enough to be pursued outside of a crowd. If her ordinariness were to have a character, that character would be darkness.” p.23
—Bae Suah, Milena, Milena, Ecstatic (trans. Deborah Smith)
There is a quality to Bae Suah’s flat affectless prose that I find compelling. I remember the same feeling when I read Nowhere to be Found. This is another story of hollow people and oscillating passages that build up to very little. I must read more of her work.