Playlist | The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision to embrace a  the vegetarianmore “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion. And as her passive rebellion manifests in ever more extreme and frightening forms, scandal, abuse, and estrangement begin to send Yeong-hye spiraling deep into the spaces of her fantasy. In a complete metamorphosis of both mind and body, her now dangerous endeavor will take Yeong-hye—impossibly, ecstatically, tragically—far from her once-known self altogether.

A disturbing, yet beautifully composed narrative told in three parts, The Vegetarian is an allegorical novel about modern day South Korea, but also a story of obsession, choice, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.


~ Playlist ~

Ghostfriend – Fallulah

Glass & Stone – Tor

Guts – Alex Winston

Very Cruel – Poliça

Forbidden Forest – George Winston

When I Grow Up – Fever Ray

Fishin’ – Takénobu

Cocodrillo (feat. Shara Worden) – Clogs

Kaiseki – Brian Reitzell

This quietly grotesque little book called for a playlist that subtly reflects the violence, metamorphosis, and ultimate tragedy of this novel.

So I looked for songs that tended to be minimalist in style (the exceptions being “Cocodrillo” and “Guts”) and that utilized hollow sounds and which built gradually or not at all.

I also sought out songs that tended toward a subtle sense of violence and were either focused on trees or meat in some way.

“Cocodrillo” and “Fishin'” are the two exceptions to these categories and represent the second section’s focus on the blossoming flowers and the Mongolian mark.

Also, while “Kaiseki” fits with the playlist a large reason for its inclusion is that it’s from the soundtrack for NBC’s  show “Hannibal” and I found amusement in including it.





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