On Night and Waiting: Night Passes by Pyun Hye-Young

  • onOctober 27, 2014
  • Vol.22 Winter 2013
  • bySuh Heewon
Night Passes

Some writers reveal the secrets of the world, while others create a world filled with secrets. If there are only two kinds of writers, Pyun Hye-Young definitely belongs to the latter. She leaves a signature of authority on the world of her creation.

AOI Garden (2005), the author’s first collection of short stories, revolves around diseases banished by rationality, death, and the return of ghosts. She arrived at Night Passes after examining the crumbling of everyday life in To the Kennels (2007) and civilization built on the “hell of uniformity” in Evening Courtship (2011). For the author, “night” refers to the demise of rationality, a silence from the stagnation of life, and the end of a civilization in which creation and destruction no longer exist. The old man in “Night Journey” awaits the end of the world by himself in an apartment about to be torn down. Locked in a bunker designed for emergency use, the protagonist in "Blackout" waits to grow accustomed to the darkness.

In “Waiting,” crouching amid the darkness, a man waits for morning to come. There is nothing that the man can do to bring forward the morning or block out the darkness. All that remains for the man to do is to wait for the night to pass. “Waiting” is about having faith that morning will come, to put up with the barbarism and violence triggered in the dark, and to have something else replace the anxiety. “Waiting” is not an act of passive evasion but an active process taken up by those who have not given up hope. In the words of the author, night has fallen on the world, and it is passing. Man has to continue waiting for a long time. 

Author's Profile

Pyun Hye-Young is an assistant professor of creative writing at Myongji University. She has received the Hyundae Literary Award, Yi Sang Literary Award, and Dongin Literary Award. The French edition of Aoi Garden (Dans l’antre d’Aoï Garden) was published by Decrescenzo éditeurs and Ashes and Red (Cendres et rouge) by Philippe Picquier. The Hole and Ashes and Red are forthcoming from Arcade Publishing in 2017.