Saturday, 3 November 2007

Momo 모모 (Michael Ende)


Fans of the 2005 MBC drama My name is Kim Samsoon – did you know that Momo, the character that Samsoon talks about in the drama originated from a fantasy novel of the same name by Michael Ende? Initially, I thought Momo was a Korean character, sort of like Pucca, but I was wrong.

Momo, also known as The Grey Gentlemen or The Men in Grey was published in 1973. It was originally written in German, but you may find the English translation on the shelves today. Micheal Ende is also the author of the bestselling novel The Neverending Story (if you haven’t read the book, you might have seen the movie).

Various covers of the Children's classic - Momo

Momo – the synopsis

Momo, is a little Italian girl who lives in the ruins of an amphitheatre just outside an unnamed Italian city. She is remarkable in the neighbourhood because she has the extraordinary ability to listen – really listen. By simply being with people and listening to them, she can help them find answers to their problems.

The baddies in the story are called Men in Grey. They steal time from people. By representing the Timesavings Bank, they promote the idea of timesaving – time which can be deposited to the bank and returned later with interest. They make people forget all about their savings but not about the resolution to save as much time as possible “for later use”. Gradually, life becomes sterile, devoid of all things considered time-wasting – like art, imagination or even sleeping.

Momo rescues the city from the evil plan of the Men in Grey thanks to her special personality. Other characters in the book are
Professor Secundus Minustus Hora and Cassiopeia (a tortoise which can communicate though writing on her shell and has the ability to see 30 minutes into the future).

Momo - in the drama

Little Mi-joo is Jin-heon’s (Hyun Bin) niece. After the shock of witnessing the death of both her parents in a tragic car crash, she has not spoken. Samsoon (Kim Sun-a) initiates a “baking therapy” session for little Mi-joo. It was then that Samsoon introduced Mi-joo to Momo. Samsoon says, "Momo was an orphan and she did not talk but is a very good listener, just like Mi-joo."

Samsoon tells Mi-joo about Momo during a fun baking session.
The child & Jin-heon listens intently.

When Jin-heon goes on a shopping outing with
ex-girlfriend Hee-jin one day,
Mi-joo spots
the book (Momo) and insists on buying it.

Jin-heon secretly bought a copy for himself too
and reads the book

A troubled Jin-hyeon finds comfort by reading Mi-joo a
bedtime story.
They read about the adventures of Momo.
(Orchid would like Hyun Bin to read her a bedtime story too..;-)

After a day at the aquarium, Samsoon reads to a sleepy Mi-joo

Dream sequence where Mi-joo dreams about Momo,
Professor Secundus Minustus Hora and Cassiopeia

Purchase Momo (Puffin Books) from Amazon now!

Reference: Wikipedia


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Gail T. said...

gail would like hyun bin to read me a bedtime story too. a kiss at the end would suit me fine, too. oh, mi joo, how i envy you.

lovely screencaps. i'm putting this on my to-read list as well. thanks. :) MNKSS was really insightful. love the book recommendations.

Orchid said...

Hi Gail,

Hehehe...Mi-joo is one lucky gal.

Yeah, unlike In Search of Lost Time, i think this book is very readable. I went searching for the book the other day, but could not find it. :-( will keep looking!

3888 said...

I read Momo when I was a kid, but after reading what you write about Momo in the drama, I just feel like reading it again.

But have to read it alone again. No Hyun Bin. Wahahaha

Orchid said...

3888: Did you watch the drama My Lovely Samsoon?

Liz said...

Orchid, this entry makes me wanna reading Momo as well. I hope we'll be able to find the book soon. Malaysian bookstores don't seem to have it, huh?

They do carry Never Ending Story in the teen/children section though.

Orchid said...

3888, yeah i was wondering the same thing when i was watching the drama. What's with the tortoise and Mi-joo giving a Piggy Professor a massage...until i read the synopsis of the book. Then it made sense. :-)

I just wish i understood Korean. Then i think we will discover more goodies in Korean dramas!

Anyway, Liz and i will endeavor to find the book...

3888 said...

Ya, I watched My Lovely Samsoon, but didn't relate it to the book then. Haha.. i was wondering what's with the tortoise and the piggy professor.

I bought the book Momo in Singapore, ha, so near to Malaysia.

fraulein said...

I absolutely melted during that scene when hyun bin read to mi-joo in bed. U gotta love the guy when he tells his niece not to fall for a "baddie" like him in future....

fraulein said...

wait a mo... wasnt cassiopeia also the title of a rain song? what was he singing abt in that one?
Thought it was some lovey dovey tune about a boy and girl's love being written in the stars?

Orchid said...

Yes, the song which Rain duets with JLim in Rain's 4th album is called Cassiopeia.

Anonymous said...

i just love my name MOMO...heheheh

Orchid said...

hey if you are looking high and low for this book - Momo by Michael Ende, just click on the link in this entry to purchase it from Amazon! ;-)


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