The software I use to run this website is the very popular WordPress, which includes an excellent stats package. Web stats reveal a number of things like total visitors, pages accessed, and incoming links, but the one I find most interesting is Search Engine Terms. What this does is capture the search phrase used to arrive at the site, and as expected, my name is at the top of this list, but a large number of those hits aren’t just my name alone:
“sung j woo paris at night summary”
Paris, at Night is a short story that came out earlier this year, and on that site, readers can leave comments. One of them caught my attention:
Posted 2009-06-25 09:45:23
I used this story in a Freshman English class as part of their final exam. the kids loved the story, but were disappointed in the end. They wanted there to be more. i am so happy I chose this story. It is rare to find a story the kids actually enjoy reading and want more.
So my guess is that certain students, possibly constrained by time or initiative, are searching the good old Internet to see if a summary of my story is available. So kids, if you are seeking a CliffsNotes version of my story, here it is, written for you by Gary Jackson:
In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining Czech underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan…
If your professor tells you this sounds a lot like a movie, stand up, declare “Au contraire, mon frère (or ma soeur)!” and leave the classroom in a huff.
I’m a student from Thailand. Now I’m studying Translating English to Thai,and I choose your short story “Paris, At night” to translate. Well, I would like to ask you that why cilent in this stroy want Todd or other people to get a memrip, and what’s the benefit of memrip. and what ‘s the theme of this story.
Sorry to ask you many questions, but it’s important for me to translate your story for the best.
Let me see if I can answer your questions. But first, you must promise to send me the translated story! I can’t read Thai, but it would be a hoot nonetheless.
1) Why does Richard Gibbons want people to go through the memrip process? Because it’s good business for him. Richard has clients who want to be able to experience the lives of others. It’s how he makes a living.
2) What’s the benefit of memrip? The only benefit, as you can see from the story, is that you get paid for selling your memories. But the cost can be very high.
3) What is the theme of the story? If you read the story, you’ll come up with your own conclusions. I don’t want to steer any reader into thinking about a story in a certain way.
Hope that helps!
Oh!! That’s very kind of you.
I exactly send you the translated story.But I’m just a beginer, maybe the language isn’t so beautiful.
(actually,I so shy to let people read my work,espicially the owner hihi^0^) I wonder if you have any Thai friend?
If you do,tell him that I’m just a student (haha).
Anyway, it has to take time to send you the translated story becuase I have to send my teacher the final draft in late Feb.
Could you waite for a bit? Now, I want to tell you something that It’s my great surprised!!! to talk with the authentic writter like you. When I send you e-mail at the first time, I never imagine that you will reply me because I’m not good at technology
and don’t know whether you would recieve.My friends also tell me that why you still fancy that Sung.J.Woo will reply you. And now,Sung, I will run to tell my friends that you reply me already!!
In my faculty of Arts,which the faculty I study, there are many language to learn, it’s also concluding Korean. Unfortunately, I study Chinese.If I studied Korean,I would talk Korean to you. Anyway If you send me Korean message,I will find out because I have many friends who studying Korean.
Sorry to waste your time, but at last I want to say ” I totally thank you very very very veryyyyyyyy much.
“Sung.J. Woo” I promise myself that I will never forget this name.
P.S. I surely send you e-mail soon, because there would be some mistakes.
And would you mind if you have to help me again?
– Pui (an ordinary Thai student)-
Hi , Sung!!
After I read it, I don’t know that I suerly understand.
1. Dose Todd lose his memory in the end of the story?
2. Is Todd 50 years old? (I eatimate his age from his thirtieth wedding anniversary ang his first meeting with Sue,when he was twenty.)
3. What’ s the TRIANGULAR BOXES? Dose it affect the story?
4. Could Todd recall his memory when he wasixty?
5. Dose Todd go to Paris with his wife in the end? I think that he goes but he don’t know person who beside him is his wife, is it right?
Give me a hand,please!!!!!
in the end of the story they didn’t go to Paris , it’s just a part of Todd’s memory happened in past 🙂
Interesting take on the ending!
Firstly, I totally thank you for you helping me. It can help me a lot.
I also have some questions (that always hihi “u” )
1. Could you give me the definition of “memrip”? there are also prople post this word on the internet to find the meaning. At the first time I think it’s quite a sci-fi story, instead of a love one.
2. At the thirth paragraph of the first page
” That could be me, Todd thought as he watched him work side by side with his silent mechanical counterparts, lifting, carrying, and dropping bags of rice from the back of the truck to the warehouse.
A bad car accident, a bad fall from a ladder, and that could be me.
Or a bad memrip.”
Why you begin with the phrase “that could be me” and who had a bad car accident, a bad fall from a ladder and a bad memrip?
when I read this paragraph, I don’t understand. Though I read in Chinese version,it can’t help. (I’m so surprised that there is Chinese version,it can help me a bit when I don’t understand English)
3. What does it mean “Just buyer’s remorse”? Is it means that Todd should have a symphathy to the cilent who want a good memory?
4. There are some words that I couldn’t find the meaning in dictionary such as trafficking, muzak, staticky, petri dish,and smidge. Are they important? If I know the meaning clearly,I will translate correctly.
Ok, Questions are a lot ,afraid that you would have a headache now (55+).
I ‘m waiting for your answers, Sung.
Thank you very much.
I read your story and because i am just an amateur so i quite don’t understand everything from it.
can you help me ? ^^
“find themselves underneath the arch and look up at the beacon that shined on this city of lights.”
Does this sentence describe the moon?
Thanks in advance 🙂
Thanks for reading my story! No, the beacon that I’m referring to is at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Hope that helps!
is there symbolism in the story?
@p dito — I think you can find symbolism in just about anything, so I’d heartily say yes!
i really enjoyed ur story, altho it ended quite fast. i think it could be developed into a complex novel such as “Neuromancer”, but it was nice as it is..for a small reading break 🙂
@demo – I’m glad you liked it. That’s awful kind of you to even mention Gibson’s Neuromancer in regard to my story — he’s a true original.
what is a memrip
Why does sue favour her left leg?
If Todd doesn’t remember, we don’t know, either. 🙁
Hi everyone, I want translation of this story .Help me please. Can you send translation in Thai to me? I want so much. If you can , you can send me at email : [email protected]
Thank you so much
I want to know “memrip” What does it mean?
I am Indonesian. I am trying to translate your short story for my blog, but I found it very difficult to understand. And the word ‘memrip’ baffled me so much. I wonder if you can give a definition of the word to me.
I’m a 12 year old Korean student. ( Please understand even though there are maaaany grammar mistakes…) I’m trying hard to learn English because English is one of the most important subject in Korea. I read this book last week, and thought it’s fantastic!! I was also surprised to know that writer of this book is Korean-American! i just wanted you to know that your stories are really good!
Thank you so much for your kind words! And you might be being a little too harsh on yourself, because your message here is excellent, solid English. Keep up the great work!