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"A Woman Left with Only Memories" by Kim Shin-woo

#Books on Demand l 2021-01-12

Books on Demand

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Most people in the Untact Zone lived their lives like this. 


When the market switched to the non-contact system, shopping at department stores or supermarkets became a consumer behavior capable only online or in virtual reality. Bank offices disappeared as well, forcing people to make transactions only through internet banking. 


Basic diagnoses were made through remote medical services, so going outside became unnecessary except for getting some light exercise in the park. Most of activities were done inside the house.


언텍트존(UNTACT ZONE)에 사는 사람들의 삶이 대부분 그랬다.


시장이 비대면 시스템으로 전환되자

백화점, 마트, 반찬 가게 등의 쇼핑이 

온라인 또는 가상현실의 소비활동으로써만 가능하게 되었다.

은행건물도 사라지기 시작해 인터넷뱅킹으로만 거래가 가능했다.

병원 역시 기초적인 진료는 원격 의료로 받아야 했기 때문에 

외출이란 것 자체가 공원 산책 말고는 

거의 필요하지 않을 정도로 활동반경이 좁아지게 되었다.



During the COVID-19 pandemic, online schools’ curriculums and lesson quality were touted as superior to those of real schools. But as time went by, people came to prefer the old-fashioned way of learning, because of interpersonal communication. 

Consequently, the value of a few offline schools skyrocketed and those schools were nicknamed ‘aristocrat schools.”     



Cho-ah pulled Yi-gyeong’s hand.


“Let’s go to the Starbuck’s cross the street.” 

“I can use only the drive-thru.” 

“Don’t worry about it. I have several corporate memberships. It’s nonsense that the cheapest café membership costs one million won. The world has gone crazy.” 


Even at a glance Cho-ah appeared like a woman living in a Contact Zone. Her hair was well-coiffed and her makeup and outfit were begging to be noticed.


초아는 이경의 손을 거침없이 잡아 끌었다.

  ”길 건너 스타벅스로 가자“

  ”나는 드라이브스루 이용밖에는 안 되는데...“

  ”어머 얘, 신경 안써도 돼.

   법인에서 비즈니스용으로 발급받은 회원권이 몇 개 있으니까.

   한갓 카페 회원권이 100만원 이상부터 충전해야 쓸 수 있다는 게 말이 되니?

   세상이 미쳐 돌아가는 거지“ 

초아는 한 눈에 보기에도 콘택트존의 삶을 사는 여자처럼 보였다.

미용실에 자주 다니는 듯 보이는 머리에, 화장에, 옷차림이

‘보여줄’ 필요가 있는 삶을 의미했기 때문이다.



Interview by SNU Korean Literature Professor Bang Min-ho

This writer, Kim Shin-woo, has incorporated the current pandemic into his story seamlessly. We are currently living in a world where having no contact has become a new norm. In a world where ‘untact’ has become routine, contact will emerge as a new value. The pandemic created the Contact Zones where only the privileged few could maintain contact with others and enjoy the pleasures or benefits that come from human contact. 




Kim Shin-woo (Born in 1978)    

: Debuted by publishing short story “Period of Immunity” on Maeil Sinmun in 2001

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