|Born||February 17, 1940|
Jeju City, Jeju-do
|Alma mater||Jeju University, Hanyang University|
|Genre||Jeju political fiction|
Korean nameHangul현길언Hanja玄吉彦Revised RomanizationHyeon GileonMcCune–ReischauerHyŏn Kilŏn
Hyun Kil-Un (Hangul: 현길언) is a Jeju Island-based South Korean writer.
3 Works in Translation
4 Works in Korean (Partial)
Hyun Kil-Un was born on February 17, 1940, on Jeju-do Korea. Hyun graduated from Jeju University and then Hanyang University's Graduate School. Hyun is currently a professor of Korean Language and Literature at Hanyang University.
Hyun's work can not be separated from his birthplace, Jejeu-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 visits and re-visits 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 has also been 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 seeks to expose in “Fever” (Sinyeol) and “A Strange Tie” (Isanghan kkeun).
Works in Translation
Dead Silence and Other Stories of the Jeju massacre (현길언 단편선)
LA VILLE GRISE (회색도시)
Works in Korean (Partial)
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
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