20th Century Korean Literature

Book 6
Literature Translation Institute of Korea

 “Home,” which came out in 1926, is a concise portrait of colonial Korea. In approximately 2000 words, this short work summarizes Korea of the 1920s, when the Japanese Empire’s colonial exploitation of the peninsula had reached its full stride, by focusing on one unique character. The narrator is seated in a trsain car with a man dressed in an unusual set of clothes and in short order learns that he had left his home village for Manchuria and then moved on to Japan before returning to Korea to search for work in Seoul. His impoverishment and misery serve as a dramatic allegory for the impact of Japanese colonialism on Korean life.
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About the author

 Hyun Jin-geon (1900-1943), pen name Bing-heo, was born in Daegu in 1900. He debuted as a writer in 1920 with the publication of his short story “Sacrificial Flowers” (Huisaenghwa) in the literary journal Genesis (Gaebyeok).

In the 1920s, Hyun participated in the New Literature Movement as a member of the literary coterie journal White Tide (Baekjo), with Hong Sayong, Yi Sanghwa, Na Dohyang, Park Jonghwa, and others. He earned critical recognition for his short story “Poor Man’s Wife” (Bincheo), published in Genesis in 1921, and established his reputation as a major realist writer, ranked alongside Yom Sang-seop, with his publications of “The Corrupt” (Tarakja) and “A Lucky Day” (Unsu Joeun Nal) in White Tide. Some have described Hyun as one of the pioneers of modern Korean short fiction, along with Kim Dong-in.

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7 total

Additional Information

Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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Published on
Dec 11, 2013
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Literary Collections / Asian / General
Literary Collections / General
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