Kim Hoon: A Writer Who Writes with His Body
ByPark Hae-hyunon Nov 21 2014 11:35:04
Vol.2 Winter 2008
He is a writer who strikes us as a tough warrior rather than as a frail scholar. He insists on writing longhand using only pencils, and huns automobiles in favor of tooling around on a bike. But most of all, he is the writer of an entirely new kind of historical novels in Korea.
Kim Hoon writes in longhand, using pencils. He worked as a journalist for over 20 years before he started publishing novels, but strangely enough, he has never touched the keyboard of a typewriter or a computer. In this digital day and age, he insists on writing the analog way. Kim has always said, “When I write with pencils, I feel that my body is propelling the writing forward. I am incapable of writing a single line without this feeling.” To him, a pencil is not merely a tool for writing, but the embodiment of the writer himself. Kim Hoon uses his entire body to show the moment in which the body and the words of the writer become one to reveal that a writer’s style is, literally, none other than the writer himself.
Kim Hoon calls himself a bicycle racer. He does not have a driver’s license. He journeyed to the southern part of the Korean peninsula riding his bike, which he named Pungryun, meaning “wheels of the wind,” and wrote a series of travel essays. He is a writer who rejects computers and writes with a pencil, a writer who shuns automobiles and troubles himself by stepping on the pedals of his bicycle. People now consider him an evangelist promoting bike riding as part of the green lifestyle that is being emphasized in Korea today.
Kim Hoon / 김훈 / Novelist / 1948-05-05 / 0000000081223011
Though he became a fiction writer at a relatively late age, Kim writes with flair and the dexterity of a seasoned novelist. Grounded in his journalistic background, his writing style is polished and unsentimental, and Kim crafts his sentences masterfully to infuse lyrical rhythm to his work without sacrificing clarity and poise. His job as a journalist, which required him to rush to the scenes of disaster, has also given him an insight into the psychology of people in extreme circumstances. Kim’s ability to discern pertinent details and moments of significance in the chaos of life-or-death situations, which he perfected in his line of work as a reporter, can be observed in his first novel, Memories of Earthenware with Comb Teeth Pattern. Written in form of a detective story involving a mysterious death of a firefighter, the novel presents a palpably real portrait of the battle with raging fire, and investigates the intensity of human emotions in dire circumstances with acuity, subtlety and insight. In his second novel Song of Sword, Kim gives us a powerful picture of General Lee Sun-sin, not as a mere war-hero, but as an ordinary man facing extraordinary circumstances and struggling with complexity of his own interior landscape. His most recent novel Song of Strings focuses on the life of the renowned musician Ureug who lived more than fifteen hundred years ago during the Shilla period.
Namhan sanseong (hangul: 남한산성) is his latest work, and has sold almost 1 million copies in South Korea. It is based on the incident of Byeongjahoran, in which during the Second Manchu invasion of Korea in 1636, when King Injo of Joseon Dynasty took refuge in the Namhan Mountain Fortress in Gyeonggi-do, in an ill-fated attempt to defy the rule of the Manchu Qing Empire Hong Taiji, following the First Manchu invasion of Korea in 1627.
In 2009 a musical also titled, Namhansanseong was based on the novel, but focuses on the lives of common people and their spirit of survival during harsh situations. It stars Yesung of boy band Super Junior as villain "Jung Myung-soo", a servant-turned-interpreter. It was shown from 14 to 31 October at Seongnam Arts Center Opera House.
In 2011 Kim’s work “Schwertgesang”translated by Heidi Kang and Ahn So-hyun, won the Daesan Award for Translated Literature.
Descartes's Descendants: The Novels of Bae Myung-hoon and Kim Bo-young
ByBok Dohoonon Nov 02 2014 00:17:49
Vol.20 Summer 2013
As science fiction continues to work at gaining respect as a literary genre in Korea, two young writers are at the forefront, bringing imagination and a touch of realism to their explorations of human existence.
In the Korean literary scene where realism has traditionally dominated, science fiction was, in both quantity and quality, relatively underrepresented. Moreover, at times science fiction was not recognized as literature and cherished only by a small fan base.
In the 2000s, a trend began in the Korean literary scene: the active exploration of fantasy and the future. These explorations led to discoveries of a new reality. A new generation of writers started traversing the line between the fantastic and the real, intermixing elements from realism and fantasy. In novels, protagonists that were aliens, zombies, clones, and "pseudo-human[s]" began appearing. These creatures problematized the humanistic value system and humanity as a race. The settings of these works escaped the familiar reality and expanded into a computer-generated virtual reality, outer space, and post-apocalyptic worlds.
In the midst of these changes and developments, science fiction entered into Korean fiction. In addition, readers and literary critics focused more attention on this genre. The young writers who have received the most attention are undoubtedly Bae Myung-hoon and Kim Bo-young. These two authors write science fiction, but their works also span broadly over the genres of fantasy, children's literature, and detective novels. Nonetheless, the majority of their works, and the ones that received the most attention, are science fiction.
Tras los dos especiales sobre el X Certamen Internacional de Novela histórica de Úbeda, celebrado el pasado noviembre, regresa su podcast de novela histórica a su estructura regular por última vez en el 2021 antes de unos especiales navideños que ya anuncian. Participan en esta ocasión, Pablo Lozano, comandante del Certamen, Javier Velasco, de Todoliteratura, Yolanda Rocha, del blog Que el sueño me alcance leyendo, Ren, del blog Momoko y Pedro Pablo Uceda, la ya emblemática ‘voz de la calle’ del podcast.
Here is a book brimming with boundless energy, conjuring up the elements in all their vitality: wind, water, earth, and fire; the rivers and seas, the mountains, trees, and grass. It speaks of life
and death over the centuries and at the heart of sixth-century Korea, of raging conflicts and the desire for peace. Death is dispensed by iron, collect...
There was no trace of time on the sea, beyond which Heuksan remained unseen. Black Island by KimHoon Detailed Information Date: 2016.10.14 Provider: LTI Korea Running Time: 01:49 Writer: KimHoonLanguage: English More information on Korean literature writers http://library.kl ti.or.kr...
and historical detail, the narrative is a grand polyphony of myriad voices, bringing history to life through the characters that lived it, from the power-thirsty Queen Dowager, to the slave horseman
torn between his duties, his freedom and his faith. The drama that unfolds in the novel is one between martyrs and betrayers, dreamers and survivors,...
KimHoon writes in longhand, using pencils. He worked as a journalist for over 20 years before he started publishing novels, but strangely enough, he has never touched the keyboard of a typewriter or
a computer. In this digital day and age, he insists on writing the analog way. Kim has always said, When I write with pencils, I feel that my body i...
Tongyeong, a city in Gyeongsangnam-do (province), is renowned as a center of arts and culture. Its most famous scion is Cheongma Yu Chi-hwan, followed by Kim Chun-soo, Park Kyongni, Jeon Hyuck-lim,
and other greats who have embroidered 20th century Koreas world of literature and art. Living within the natural environment of Tongyeong must have bee...
: Yu Chi-hwan, Park Kyongni, Kim Chun-soo, KimHoon