Desire on the Run: Love Runs by Sim Yunkyung

  • onOctober 26, 2014
  • Vol.18 Winter 2012
  • byCho Yeon-jung
Love Runs

Lacan says that if a person gives into all of his or her everyday desires then that person is either extremely selfish or has not yet matured. But is it easy for a person to stay extremely selfish or immature? For the most part, desire and money is interlinked in society, so perhaps someone who has a lot of money could be as selfish as he or she wants to be and less mature than other people. Sim Yunkyung’s novel Love Runs is about people who are faithful to their desires and remain immature.

Hannah had everything she wanted. She monopolized the love of her family ever since she was a child. Her father was a man who had started off poor selling items from his truck then amassed a fortune, and Hannah’s mother had both beauty and intelligence. Also in Hannah’s life was her husband, an honest and caring man who graduated from a prestigious university and held a job at a major company. There was nothing that Hannah lacked in her life. She was 39-years-old and yet still acted immature when she suddenly faced a crisis.

In his old age, Hannah’s father decides to divorce her mother so that he can marry a woman who is the same age as Hannah’s brother. Her father’s credit card that she uses is set to expire soon, her brother’s debt is increasing by the day, and her husband is transferred to a branch far away, allowing them to only see each other on weekends. At one time Hannah was able to spend to her heart’s content using her father’s unlimited credit card, and, now, her life is coming apart.

Then one day, Hannah finds love. She falls in love with the director of the hospital where she takes on a part-time job. The reason why she doesn’t resist this situation is because she has never learned to suppress her desires while growing up. Love Runs forces us to think about the nature of desire through the naïve character, Hannah, who unrestrainedly gives in to her desires. The novel’s pacing is quick and entertaining, but what the story ultimately tells us is that for people of means it is easy to give into their desires while people without cannot afford such an indulgence. 

Author's Profile

Sim Yunkyung earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Molecular Biology at Seoul National University. She has received the Hankyoreh Literature Award and the Muyeong Literary Award. She has published five novels and a few children’s books.