Poor Man's Wife

  • onNovember 8, 2016
  • byHyun Jin-geon
Poor Man's Wife
Tr. Sora Kim-Russell



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“Poor Man’s Wife” explores the conflict between art and daily life. A heavily autobiographical work, the story is told from the point of view of an aspiring novelist who has chosen a life of poverty and hardship in order to focus on his writing. One day, after witnessing the contrast between their situation and that of the narrator’s much more affluent relation, the novelist’s wife pleads with him to “find a way to make a living.” By presenting the wife’s position of wanting to support her artist husband while also being unavoidably bound to the desire for wealth and stability, and the husband’s observations of his wife, the story vividly portrays the conventions and hardships faced by the artists who lived under Japanese colonialism.



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