Following critical response from netizens and fans alike regarding IU‘s interpretation of Zezé, the character in focus in the popular book My Sweet Orange Tree, the book’s publisher responded through their official Facebook page.
The post was published on November 5th and is divided into parts in which the publishing company reacts to IU’s interview where she explains her thoughts behind the book as well as the company’s reaction towards the song’s lyrics itself and her interpretation of the five-year old boy on her album’s illustration.
It should be noted that the book’s author passed away in 1984 at the age of 64.
“<IU-nim. Zezé is not the child you interpret him as.>
1. IU’s Interview
“I created ‘Zezé’ from the view point of Minginui . Zezé is innocent yet he can be very cruel at the same time. He is a very hypocritical as a character. That’s why I felt that he was a sexy and attractive character.”
2. ‘Zezé’ Lyrics.
– Zezé, climb up the tree
Kiss the leaves
Don’t fool around
Don’t hurt the tree, bad bad
Zezé, climb up the tree
Take the youngest leaf here
-You’re very naive, but obviously cunning
You seem like a transparent child
Something about you is dirty
What’s living inside of you,
There’s no way to know
Zezé is a 5 year old full of pain and hurt who was abused by his family.
Many readers cried at Zezé’s lines “Why must children grow up?”. Minginui is the only friend that Zezé has, but in this song, Minginui thinks that Zezé is cunning?
<My Sweet Orange Tree> is a novel about the author as well. The book is a consolation to numerous children who may be getting hurt even to this day. How could you twist such meaning behind the book into such a thing.
Of course in art there is a freedom in creativity and perception but I cannot help but express sorrow that 5 year old, abused Zezé was used as a sexual symbol. A freedom of expression only holds power if the general public can relate to the form of art to a point. How could you put Zezé in fishnet stockings in a pin up girl pose…Pin up girls are the industrialized icon of sexuality.
Also, Zezé’s duality stems from the lack of love he feels as the result of severe abuse and his rebelling nature. This duality is not innate but nurtured by his life. To say that Zezé is cunning and cruel, I feel, is a wrong understanding of the character.
<아이유님. 제제는 그런 아이가 아닙니다>1. 아이유 인터뷰"zeze는 소설 속 라임오렌지나무인 밍기뉴의 관점에서 만들었고 제제는 순수하면서 어떤 부분에선 잔인하다.캐릭터만 봤을 때 모순점을 많이 가진 캐릭터다…