불의 강 summary Ñ 8

review 불의 강

불의 강 summary Ñ 8 ↠ ✻ [BOOKS] ✯ 불의 강 By Oh Jung-hee ❅ – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk O Chonghui is an immensely accomplished author having won both the Yi Sang and Tongin awards Korea's most prestigious prizes for fiction Translations of her works into Japanese English French and othe O Chonghui is an immensely accomplishComing one of the most astute observers of its society and the place of tradition within itThese nine stories range from O's first published work in to one of her last publications in Her early stories are compact often chilling accounts of family dysfunction reflecting the decline of traditional agrarian economics and the rise of urban industrial living Later stories are expansive weaving elouent occasionally wistful reflections on lost love and tradition together with provocative explorations of sexuality and gender O makes use of flashbacks interior monologue. made me want to write like o chônghûi also i loved the subtle gayness

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O Chonghui is an immensely accomplished author having won both the Yi Sang and Tongin awards Korea's most prestigious prizes for fiction Translations of her works into Japanese English French and other languages have earned her international acclaim generating comparisons with Joyce Carol Oates Alice Munro and Virginia Woolf O Chonghui crafts historically rooted yet timeless tales imagining core human experiences from a female point of view Together with Pak Wanso Park Wan suh she formed a powerful challenge to the conservative literary establishment in Korea be. Although she is one of the most revered figures in contemporary Korean literature not much of O Chonghui's impressive oeuvre is available to an English speaking audience It is indeed a pleasure to have access to nine of her short stories in the collection River of Fire and Other Stories translated by Bruce and Ju Chan Fulton and published as a part of Columbia University Press's Weatherhead Books on Asia series in 2012 River of Fire and Other Stories comprises of nine short stories written over the span of several decades ranging all the way from 1968 to 1994 All nine stories focus on the various uiet internal struggles of women trapped in domestic Korean life Chonghui explores the conseuent themes of abandonment infertility sexuality and loneliness Because the stories selected are from many different points of Chonghui's career the reader is exposed to a tantalizing variety of styles including both first and third person narratives as well as episodes of stream of consciousnessThe collection's earlier stories are particularly compact and full of surprises The narrator of The Toyshop Woman is an adolescent girl dealing with the loss of her beloved brother while also struggling with her sexual identity The manner in which the pivotal and unexpected facts of the narrator's history are revealed comes across as almost incidental presented through dreams and memories In this way Chonghui does not trivialize the issues of sexuality and loss but rather puts them in a realistic context reminding the reader of how the rest of the world goes on oblivious to individual tragedies More importantly this casualness is an apt representation of the narrator's disconnectedness an unescapable isolation shared by so many other women imprisoned by the societal limits placed upon their gender At the end of the story when the narrator realizes the permanence of her former lesbian lover's absence she is faced with the frightening reality of her future For a moment I felt liberated But I also felt a loneliness that would never end Soon I would shrink back inside my hard shell like a snail My heart was drying up—how much longer before it crumbledIn this uietly tragic conclusion Chonghui suggests that the narrator's return to heteronormativity will eventually destroy her As this and the other stories in River of Fire prove however these women's lives are continually shaped by decisions over which they have little to no control The content of River of Fire and Other Stories provides a fascinating glimpse into Korean culture Chonghui's matter of fact treatment of taboo subjects such as infidelity and alcoholism combats society's tendency to ignore these very real issues The protagonists of Chonghui's stories all share a desire for identity and independence Several of the characters display creative potential but their artistics goals are never realized In A Portrait of Magnolias the main character is never able to paint the perfect magnolia despite innumerable attempts In Lake P'aro she is a failed writer who is terrified to even try to write again becoming “complacent about literature considering it a thing of beauty something to savor”Chonghui also exposes the dichotomy of passivity juxtaposed against the urge to break free One Spring Day depicts a desperate housewife's failed attempt to seduce her husband's friend Rather than saying that the character was crying Chonghui chooses “In the mirror I saw myself begin silently to cry” emphasizing a horrible detachment from the self Chonghui's stories are somehow both subtle and blatant For example in Lake P'aro the protagonist gains the trust of a stray cat before trapping it in a sack hanging the sack from a tree and abandoning the animal to die She periodically returns to check on the process of decomposition The contents of the knapsack seemed to diminish even as the knapsack itself stretched out and grew tattered and its slate color faded The reeking rotting thing inside no longer turning colors no longer fat or long but a shapeless mess was not the cat but rather herself degenerating into depravityIn this instance Chonghui is practically spoon feeding symbolism to the reader ignoring that cardinal rule of creative writing to “show not tell” In a way breaking this rule is revolutionary not lazy Because readers are used to having to provide their own analyses of text the fact that Chonghui has already provided a certain amount of interpretation prompts the reader to search for an even deeper level of meaningDespite the obvious care behind the construction of Chonghui's thought provoking stories the translation by Bruce and Ju Chan Fulton comes across as unfortunately stilted and stuffy at times Dated phrases such as “shoot the breeze” stick out disrupting Chonghui's otherwise smooth style The Fultons' translation is adeuate and clear but it does not uite sparkle

Oh Jung-hee ò 8 summary

불의 강S and stream of consciousness in her narratives developing themes of abandonment and loneliness in a carefully cultivated dispassionate tone Her nameless narrators stand in for the average individual struggling to cope with emotional rootlessness and a yearning for permanence in family and society Arguably the first female Korean fiction writer to follow Virginia Woolf's dictum to do away with the egoless self sacrificing angel in the house O Chonghui is a crucial figure in the history of modern Korean literature on par with Kim Sowol Hwang Sunwon and Yi T'aejun. O is a stunning and profound challenge to a patriarchal literary establishment Her stories detail the mundane and domestic scenes of women children the elderly those who usually play the background characters to literary traditions her prose paints impossible lyrical landscapes our relationship was like stagnant water stale peaceful that are skillfully translated by Bruce and Ju chan Fulton Ambiguous emotionally deficient snapshots reveal truths of human experienceIt's hard to choose a favorite story they are all so emotionally draining but in a good way My favorite story Chinatown is not included in this collection but the atmosphere is preserved in River of Fire and Fireworks