[Feature] What Would Democracy Feel Like?: On Recent Short Stories by Kim Geum-hee and Hwang Jung-eun / Hwang Jung-a

 

The Quarterly Changbi 175, Spring 2017

 

Abstract

Hwang Jung-a, in her criticism on recent short stories, gives a dynamic picture of the main “affects” seized in the Candlelight square, at once the space of healing and the time of revolution, and goes on to probe what democracy would feel like. The square is no other than the place to demand impeachment of the corrupt power, to find what we are, and to experience what democracy is really like. In the stories of Kim Geum-hee, the critic delves into the connotations of the feeling of “stay put”, which has emerged as the biggest topic in the post-Sewol ferry Korean society, and explores how that feeling gradually brings about the passion “not to stay put”. The stories by Hwang Jung-eun, the equanimous report of the moments of life when ‘the sacred’ and ‘the trivial’ intersect incessantly, show a delicate trajectory of mind in which ‘the trivial’ comes up to the light of the people’s square.