Further Reading

Teaser: Novelist Jeong Yi Hyun
Exposed to benevolent violence and anxiety every day, ordinary people still live their lives silent witnesses to this age, their hidden side is captured by writer Jeong Yi Hyun Detailed Information Date: 2017.4.7 Provider: LTI Korea Running Time: 02:03 Writer: Jeong Yi Hyun Language: English More information on Korean literature writers http://www.koreanliteraturenow.com http://library.klti.or.kr
Public, Private, or Somewhere in Between
March 2017. My daughter just started elementary school. The school is a five-minute walk from our home. This is her first public school, which means she’s now assimilated into the Korean public education system. Not that she never attended school before age six. She received four years of early childhood education, starting from when she was two. She went to a private nursery for two years, then a private kindergarten for another two. Of course, I had to pay a considerable amount every month. Did I choose a private school because I didn’t trust the Korean public education system? No,...
Propping Up the Fallen Ladder of Education
Heo Hee: I’d like to discuss the issue of Korean education, which I believe is related to the “contemporariness” you often emphasize. Jeong Yi Hyun: It is. Contemporariness sounds like an objective concept, but its definition really depends on how one sees and understands the contemporary era. I see myself as a single camera capturing this era from my own perspective. Maybe my fiction resembles documentaries. Not that documentaries are completely objective, either. And of course, it is the author’s prerogative to select or edit as they see fit. Heo: There’s such a fever for education in Korea. It’s not...
Dating Culture
Dates and Dating: Unexplored Emotional Territory In the English vernacular, the word “to date” means “to go out with someone with whom one is romantically interested.” But the word deiteu (date) in Korean has a slightly different meaning: “two people meeting with the intention of pursuing a romantic relationship.” In other words, “dating” in Korean has more long-term overtones. Dating is the step before a relationship becomes serious, the stage full of tension and curiosity. It is notable that Koreans have opted to stick with this borrowed term to describe romantic relationships rather than finding a Korean equivalent. When the...
Love of the Missing: Modern Korean Fiction by Women, 1990-2010
Prior to the Enlightenment Period, Hangeul was often disdained in Korea— or more precisely, the Joseon era as it was known then—as “female writing,” meaning it was a writing system befitting only women. During the Enlightenment, however, Hanmun (classical Chinese), which had played the same role as Latin in East Asia, was replaced by the Korean vernacular, and Hangeul , which had previously been used only by the lower classes, naturally became the official writing system. In the hundred or so years since, women who used to be denigrated as yoryu (“female”) have distinguished themselves with their masterful use of...
Confessions of a Knock-off apartment Kid from the 1980s
I am not a “natural born apartment kid.” It would, rather, be more appropriate to say that I spent my childhood hankering for the life of an apartment kid. My first memory of the space called an apartment starts in the early 1980s. Around that time my maternal grandparents moved to the ninth floor of the newly-built Samho Apartment in Bangbae-dong. It was when the real estate development boom in Gangnam had just begun. Any information on which course my grandparents took to sell their traditional style house in Pilwoon-dong, Jongno-gu, and start their life in the apartment, has not...
The Postmodern City and Its Discontents
Every city has two faces: that of an angel and that of a devil. These double aspects of a city result from the fact that the city is a child of modernity: simultaneously an angel and a devil. As Cho Myung-Rae clearly demonstrates in his book The Modern Society and City-theory and Reality (2002), the “city is not only a mold with which modernity is formed, but also an obvious medium that can represent modernity.” In short, the two faces of a city are those of modernity. Since urbanization and modernization in Korea have been achieved so rapidly, the mark...
Between the Inside and the Outside Novelist Jeong Yi Hyun
Cha Mi-ryeong: It is so nice to see you. It’s been 10 years since you made your debut and you continue to publish. When did you first start writing fiction? Jeong Yi Hyun: It’s been 10 years since my literary debut, but I completed my first work of fiction not long before 2002. Several years after I graduated from college, I returned to school and studied creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. That’s when I started studying literature and writing seriously. Back then I wanted to be a poet. CM: That is surprising. I thought you were...