The Heat of the Sun

20th Century Korean Literature

Book 5
Literature Translation Institute of Korea

 “The Heat of the Sun” (1937) follows Deoksun as he struggles to carry his starving, deathly-ill wife to the hospital, buoyed by the foolish hope that the hospital will pay them for the opportunity to research the wife’s illness. In the end, however, it is impossible for the kind-hearted, impoverished characters of the story not to be overwhelmed by the heartless world around them. The image of Deoksun carrying his wife on his back as he walks beneath a scorching sun is one of Kim Yu-jeong’s most enduring portrayals of the lower class, and contains within it an incredible sense of the pathos of human existence.
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About the author

 Kim Yu-jeong (1908-1937)’s stories portray, with a unique, folksy sense of humor, everyday people living out hardscrabble lives against the bleak backdrop of rural Korea. Kim Yu-jeong made his literary debut in 1935 with the selection of “The Rainstorm” by the Chosun Ilbo, and “The Bonanza” by the Joseon Jungang Ilbo. He then went on to publish prolifically during the two short years before his death in 1937, leaving behind more than 30 novels and 10 essays, and opening up a new horizon in Korean literature.

Many of Kim Yu-jeong’s most representational stories—including “Spring, Spring”, “The Mountain Traveler”, “The Rascal”, “The Golden Bean Patch”, and “Camelias”—depict various aspects of life in rural Korea. Kim’s prose, with its liberal use of lively onomatopoeia, rustic dialects, and homespun colloquialisms, lends great animation to his subjects, providing us with vitality-filled sketches of the impoverished and miserable lives lived by the lowest classes in rural villages under Japanese colonial rule. The particular significance of Kim’s stories within Korean literature, however, comes from the consistent sensitivity of feeling which they evince in their telling.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
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Published on
Dec 11, 2013
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Pages
22
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ISBN
9788993360264
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / Asian / General
Literary Collections / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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