November 23, 2005 22:56
In an interview on Tuesday, Ma was quoted as saying, "I deeply regret the Seoulshinmun's attitude. They solicited me to write a serial novel and now they are chickening out. Isn't that a clear case of opportunism?"
He says when it comes to sex, people on one side of the ideological divide are as prudish as on the other. "Perhaps, being a Confucian country, conservative or progressive Koreans alike are not in favor of anything." Asked about criticism of his explicit writing, Ma shot back, "It's important to understand that novels are fiction." And he adds, "I think freedom of expression must come first, no matter what."
The Korea Press Ethics Commission said the novel's "explicit depiction of various abnormal sexual activities including masturbation, group sex, oral sex and the like" was liable to arouse "feeling of disgust and inappropriate curiosity in readers, especially the young."
It was not Ma's first run-in with the guardians of morality. In 1992, he was arrested and found guilty of obscenity for his novel "Happy Sara."
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