First of all, I owe this happiness of seeing the publication of this book by the Minerva Press in the United Kingdom entirely to The Korea Times, one of the two major daily English newspapers in Seoul, Korea. Almost all of the essays included in this collection, except for a few, appeared originally in it. Without the pleasure and opportunity of writing for the paper it is very much likely that I would have stopped writing long ago, and consequently no effort was made to seek a publisher abroad. The Korea Times, particularly my column in it, "Ideas & Ideals," was for me like the pond for fish and the stage for players.
To my colleague and friend, Prof. Kim Jin-Woo, I owe special debt that cannot be easily calculated and paid. He read every word and line of my essays with scrupulous care, love, and honesty for more than two decades for nothing but pleasure of reading them. And also, I would like to share my happiness with those few people who call themselves my "apostles." They are a small but very solid group of my students who not only read my writings with praise and pleasure, but also made others read them, and prayed for and believed in the coming of better days for my essays with almost religious faith and fervor.
To my ninety-year old mother who is still hale and hearty, and my late father who died when I was twelve, I consecrate a special moment of recollection and gratitude on this occasion. They gave me a stout body, strong mind, good intelligence, and unusual passion for writing. And, my wife and three daughters have always been like a fountain from which fresh water of energy, imagination, and peace of mind constantly sprang. Without their heavenly existence I surely would have given up my pilgrimage of writing in the middle of the road. May it continue to well up!
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