Hyun Kil-Un (Hangul: 현길언) (February 17, 1940 – March 10, 2020) was a Jeju Island-based South Korean writer.
|Born||February 17, 1940|
Jeju City, Jeju-do
|Died||March 10, 2020(aged 80)|
|Alma mater||Jeju University, Hanyang University|
|Genre||Jeju political fiction|
|Revised Romanization||Hyeon Gileon|
Hyun Kil-Un was born on February 17, 1940, on Jeju-do. Hyun graduated from Jeju University and then Hanyang University's Graduate School. Hyun was a professor of Korean Language and Literature at Hanyang University.
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.
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).
Works in translationEdit
Works in Korean (partial)Edit
- 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)
- Woman's River (Yeoja ui gang, 1992)
- A Gray City (Hoesaek dosi, 1993)
- Halla Mountain (Hallasan, 1994)
- Analytical Understanding of Korean Novels and Theory and Practice: Fictional Works of Hyeon Jingeon
- 1985 Nogwon Literary Prize
- 1990 Contemporary Literature Prize
- 1992 Republic of Korea Literary Honor
- 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)
- "현길언 소설가". people.search.naver.com. Naver. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- Lee, Kyung-ho (1996). "Hyun Kil-Un". Who's Who in Korean Literature. Seoul: Hollym. p. 162. ISBN 1-56591-066-4.
- 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)