Welcome to Asia Publishers
Home | E-mail | Editorial Room
English

04/23 2021년 심훈문학상 ...
08/21 2017 심훈문학대상, ...
05/24 2017 제21회 심훈...
06/10 2015 심훈문학상 (계...
05/27 2015 아시아 도서목...


Korean short stories in English #1 (문화체육관광부 해외문화홍보원-Korea.net , 2014.4.8)
 ASIA    | 2014·04·08 19:12 | HIT : 3,895 | VOTE : 875 |
A series of short stories written by 15 authors, representing the breadth and depth of the literary scene, is now readable in both Korean and English.

The Bilingual Edition of Modern Korean Literature, a pack of 15 short stories, has been reaching its readership worldwide since its publication by Asia Publishers on March 14.

In fact, this series is the fourth of its kind, after three of its siblings were published back in July 2012 and in June and November 2013. The volumes this time are categorized under three themes: Diaspora, Family and Humor.

In the Diaspora section are works penned by five novelists: Kim Nam-il, Gong Sun-ok, Kim Yeon-su, Kim Jae-young and Lee Kyung. The Family section features Chun Seung-sei, Jeon Sang-guk, Lee Dong-ha, Lee Hye-kyung and Kwon Yeo-sun. Finally, the remaining five writers, Han Chang-hoon, Jeon Sung-tae, Lee Ki-ho, Kim Jung-hyuk and Kim Chong-kwang, deliver their literary worlds under the Humor theme.

Among the featured works is “People I Left In Shanghai” by Gong Sun-ok, part of the Diaspora series of tales. The story, told in the first person, begins when a woman boards a plane to visit her friend in China and to free herself from the haunting memories of her old flame.

The narrator stays in a boarding house, the “Lovers Villa,” where she meets a Chinese woman of Korean descent, an employee there, and an old man, who has come from Korea to retrace the footsteps of his father.

The narrator finds out that the Chinese woman was deported from Korea while attempting marriage fraud. The desperate woman, the kind of person who would do anything to make money, beseeches the narrator to bring her back to Korea. Meanwhile, the old man has been looking for his father who left for Yenan in 1936, he says, just after fathering him.

The narrator finds it more and more uncomfortable to be around the pair. The woman and the old man are like bothersome, uninvited guests. She tries to coldly turn around and leave them behind, but what clutches at her is the mother tongue they all share.

As time goes by, the three of them get along as if they were, “family members who had learned to live together after a fight.” Watching the woman take care of the old man, although she usually scolds him, the narrator thinks that the woman looks like a, “thoughtful little sister, a sister scolding her childlike elder brother, only because she cares about him.”

The narrator finally leaves the two. One day, she passes by a loquat orchard and pauses to walk deeper into the orchard. There she thinks about the old man. In the last scene of the novel, the narrator says:

“I thought of Yenan below a loquat tree. Were there loquat trees in Yenan, too? Was the Yenan the old man mentioned actually Yan'an? Were there any loquats in Korea? The wind shook the trees.”

The story questions how we could meet and communicate with members of the diaspora, or “diasporic” people. At the same time, it illustrates the more general issue of our ability to sympathize.

The term “diaspora” derives from the Greek verb “diaspeirō.” The “dia” means “over” and the "speirō" means “I sow” or “I scatter.” All together, it means any group of people who have been dispersed from their traditional homeland, people who have been living double identities in their new homes.

In Gong’s story, the “diaspora” element is reflected in all three characters. They all belong to the Korean world. First, the Chinese woman experiences expulsion from Korea, whereas the old man lives outside of his own country to trace his father and his origins. Lastly, for the narrator, as only vague traces of memories of the homeland exist in the diaspora, so, too, are the memories of her old love fading more and more in her mind.

“The scene in this story, in which the narrator is drawn into the loquat orchard even after coldly leaving the woman and the old man, suggests the complexity inherent in remembering one’s departed lover and in embracing the diaspora,” said literary critic Lee Do-yeon.

“This story’s lesson does not limit itself to the problems of a diaspora. It extends to the more general problem of encountering people like us and of our ability to sympathize with them.”

Born in 1963 in Gokseong, Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province), Gong Sun-ok made her literary debut in 1991 with her novella “Seed Flame.” The writer received the Women News Literary Award in 1992 with her short story “Monsoon.” She has published numerous novels -- “My Thirties Left Behind in Oji-ri,” “Blooming Times” and “Alibi for the Next Life” -- as well as a collection of short stories, “Bloom. Daffodil,” to name just a few.

By Sohn JiAe
Korea.net Staff Writer
jiae5853@korea.kr
  
295   남편을 배신하면 모기가 되나니…[뉴시스2008.11.22]  Asia 08·11·24 3949
294   빛을 찾아 태국으로 간 미얀마 노동자들[연합뉴스2008.12.03]  ASIA 08·12·05 3944
293   문예위 ‘100년의 문학용어 사전’ 출간[경향신문2009.01.09]  ASIA 09·01·19 3937
292   세계적 문학 흐름 조망하고 성찰할 때[서울신문2009.07.17]  Asia 09·07·20 3908
   Korean short stories in English #1 (문화체육관광부 해외문화홍보원-Korea.net , 2014.4.8)  ASIA 14·04·08 3895
290   문예위 '100년의 문학용어사전' 출간[세계일보2009.01.10]  ASIA 09·01·19 3891
289   소시민들의 자잘한 일상 속 중국(20150320, 국제신문)  ASIA 15·03·23 3883
288   아시아는 어떻게 만나는가?[컬쳐뉴스 2008.09.02]  ASIA 08·09·03 3878
287   동티모르 작가 첫 소개[경북매일신문2008.11.27]  Asia 08·12·02 3873
286   탄생 100주년 ‘한흑구 문학선집’ 출간 [세계일보 2009.06.05]  ASIA 09·06·08 3867
285   이집트 방언 등 생생한 일상의 언어로 표현[서울신문2008.11.18]  Asia 08·11·18 3856
284   계간 아시아 -북해도 신문 2012.10.13  ASIA 12·10·16 3850
283   [새 책] 현기영 중단편 전집 외(20150320, 한국일보)  ASIA 15·03·23 3849
282   사전으로 보는 한국 근대문학 100년[연합뉴스2009.01.05]  ASIA 09·01·07 3838
281   문단의 아웃사이더,한흑구를 추억하다[국민일보 2009.6.12]  ASIA 09·06·15 3837
280   [여적]다르위시의 시와 희망 [경향신문2008.08.10]  ASIA 08·08·12 3832
279   '다양성의 미학' 인도문학[경북일보 2009.06.05]  ASIA 09·06·05 3827
278   팔레스타인 슬픔에 잠기다[서울신문2008.08.11]  ASIA 08·08·12 3827
277   기록문학의 부활[서울신문2008.12.05]  ASIA 08·12·05 3812
276   그들 또한 인간임을 포기하지 않는다[세계일보2008.11.21]  Asia 08·11·22 3812
[1].. 11 [12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]..[25]
Copyright 1999-2022 Zeroboard / skin by GGAMBO
(주)아시아 경기도 파주시 회동길 445 / 전화 031-944-5058 / 팩스 031-955-7956 / 전자우편 bookasia@hanmail.net
Copyright (C) since 2006 Asia Publishers Inc. All rights reserved.