The Future Before Us: The Big Wolf, Blue by Yun I-Hyeong
- onOctober 23, 2014
- Vol.12 Summer 2011
- byJung Yeo-ul
- The Big Wolf, Blue
Recently in Korea there has been a growing interest in a variety of literary genres such as science fiction, mystery, thriller, fantasy, martial arts, and romance. Korean readers have shown great interest in popular fiction, but within these genres themselves, Korean writers have not experimented as diversely as their foreign counterparts. In such a climate, Yun I-Hyeong is one of the few writers who have manifested both artistic talent and an experimental literary spirit. In her second novel, called The Big Wolf, Blue, she indulges in a mixed genre of fantasy and science fiction.
Yun succeeds in portraying zombies and cyborgs, as well as virtual images created by computer programs, as though they are real. Her characters, freely coming and going from reality to virtual space and past to present, show the imagination of contemporary people on the extreme edge. For the novelist, her imaginative sci-fi is not merely used as a motif for the science of the future, but as a useful device to portray the reality of the present. In The Big Wolf, Blue, for example, Blue, a virtual image created by a computer program, is here to solve conflict and despair of today’s youth in Korean society:
Should we have marched in street protests like them? Have we become like this because we didn’t do that? I had thought that if I liked something with all my heart then I could change the world. I thought fun things would bring us salvation. But how could this be? How embarrassing all this is. Should we keep on living like this and then die?
In a society where it is difficult to work at a job of one’s choice, let alone make a day-to-day living, and youth unemployment everywhere, Yun I-Hyeong’s sci-fi is that which, rooted in reality, is desperately needed. Her novel, encompassing both reality and fantasy, and reflecting pure and popular literature, opens a new horizon for Korean novels in the twenty-first century.
Yun I-Hyeong debuted with the short story “Black Starfish” in 2005 and has since published three short story collections, one novella, and a YA novel. She has received the Munhakdongne Young Writers’ Award and the Moonji Literary Award. English editions of her work include “Danny” and “Bloody Sunday.”