Hyun Kil-un

Hyun Kil-Un (Hangul: 현길언) (February 17, 1940 – March 10, 2020) was a Jeju Island-based South Korean writer.[1]

Hyun Kil-un
Born(1940-02-17)February 17, 1940
Jeju City, Jeju-do
DiedMarch 10, 2020(2020-03-10) (aged 80)
LanguageKorean
NationalitySouth Korean
Alma materJeju University, Hanyang University
GenreJeju political fiction
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationHyeon Gileon
McCune–ReischauerHyŏn Kilŏn

LifeEdit

Hyun Kil-Un was born on February 17, 1940, on Jeju-do.[2] Hyun graduated from Jeju University and then Hanyang University's Graduate School.[3] Hyun was a professor of Korean Language and Literature at Hanyang University.

WorkEdit

Hyun's work can not be separated from his birthplace, Jeju-do, the largest island of Korea. Hyun's Jeju-do was not a vacation destination, but the land of the first mass rebellion after the Korean national division. Hyun visited and re-visited the events of the time, and the scars that they caused.[3]

The stories contained in his first collection, The Dream of Pegasus (Yongma ui kkum, 1984), deal specifically with the traumatic historical event remembered as “April 3rd Uprising”, in which masses of ordinary civilians were slaughtered by the police in an attempt to rout communists. Hyun tries to reinvestigate this event and properly mourn the death of innocent people in order to console their hovering spirits. Often it is the unique customs and folklore of Jeju Island that suggests a way toward healing: “The Journal of Gwangjeong Pavilion” (Gwangjeong dang gi, ) and “Ceremony on the Last Day of the Month” utilize the traditional legend of a “strong woman” to describe the hope people of Jeju harbor for the return of a hero who will save them from the tyranny of politicians and bureaucrats. Hyun was also concerned with ideological or historical distortions of truth. Private truth is to be privileged over official accounts; The Skin and the Inner Flesh (Kkeop-jil gwa soksal, 1993) employs the sustained metaphor of surface and depth to characterize the relationship between official, often ideologically manipulated versions of “truth” and enduring human truths buried beneath. It is precisely these surface distortions or historical fallacies that he sought to expose in “Fever” (Sinyeol) and “A Strange Tie” (Isanghan kkeun).[4]

Works in translationEdit

  • Dead Silence and Other Stories of the Jeju massacre (ISBN 1891936808)(현길언 단편선)
  • La Ville grise (회색도시)

Works in Korean (partial)Edit

Story collections

  • The Dream of Pegasus, Biographies of Our Age (Uri sidae ui yeoljeon, 1984)
  • Rainbow Must Have Seven Colors to be Beautiful (Mujigae neun ilgopsaek i-eoseo areum dapta, 1989)
  • At Betrayal's End (Baeban ui kkeut, 1993)

Novels

  • Woman's River (Yeoja ui gang, 1992)
  • A Gray City (Hoesaek dosi, 1993)
  • Halla Mountain (Hallasan, 1994)

Critical studies

  • Analytical Understanding of Korean Novels and Theory and Practice: Fictional Works of Hyeon Jingeon

AwardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hyun Gil-eon" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "현길언 소설가". people.search.naver.com. Naver. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b Lee, Kyung-ho (1996). "Hyun Kil-Un". Who's Who in Korean Literature. Seoul: Hollym. p. 162. ISBN 1-56591-066-4.
  4. ^ Source-attribution|"Hyun Kil-Un" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)