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"The Whole Story" by Son So-hee

#Books on Demand l 2019-04-02

Books on Demand

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The matchmaker is trying very hard to arrange a marriage between the children of two well-to-do families, because when she is successful in matching up the two, she stands to receive a generous fee for her service from both families. 


‘If I successfully arrange this marriage, Mrs. Kim would pay me handsomely, but the only son of the president of Korea’s leading trading company also promised to give me a big chunk of his allowance. If I pull this off, it would be a piece of cake to buy a decent-sized house for myself.’ 

 만약 혼사가 되면은 김사장댁이 알아 챙겨줄 것도 줄 것이지만,

 대한민국의 첫째가는 대 무역회사 사장의 외톨 아들이

 제 용돈에서 한 몫 단단히 떼어준다고 고복다짐을 했으니만치

 일이 성사되고 보면 열 칸 기와집 하나쯤 마련하기야

 땅 짚고 헤엄치긴데~

Interview by literary critic Jeon So-yeong

This story was published in 1954. That’s when the younger generation began to shape the country with their free and new ideas in the wake of the Korean War. Son So-hee described one aspect of Korean society at the time. Mrs. Song is rather haughty and still adheres to the idea of social class. Throughout the story, Sam-deuk’s mother agrees with everything Mrs. Song says and pretends to be awed by her stories to get on her good side. 


“Their father is Park Tae-sun, isn’t it?” 

The screaming Mrs. Song resembled a vexed puppet. 

“Of course. It’s that Park Tae-sun.” 

“Then you, you are going out with the son of that low-life… without telling me and your father? Without our approval?” 

“Well, you never told me not to see him.”

Hye-gyeong kept on smiling even though her cheeks flushed and looked out the window with dreamy eyes at the falling snow. 

“You, my daughter… with the son of that caretaker… Oh, no, what have I done to deserve this?” 

“What’s all the fuss? I have never met anyone with better character than him. Does he have to be born a gentleman?”

“걔들 애비가 박태순이 아냐”

악을 쓰는 마님의 앉은 자세는 꼭 토라진 꼭두각시를 연상시켰다.

“왜 아녜요. 바루 그 박태순이죠” 

“아니 그럼, 그, 그 상것들하고 네가... 사괸단 말도 없이.... 애비 에미 승낙도 없이”

“아니 뭐 언제 또 사괴지 말라군 했어요. 그이들하고... ” 

딸은 발갛게 상기된 얼굴에 그저도 웃음을 띤 채

황홀한 꿈을 추구하는 듯한 눈으로

눈발이 어릿거리는 창밖을 내다본다.

“아니 그럼 네가, 내 자식이.... 그 산지기 아들 녀석하고....

 아이구 맙시사 하늘을 쓰구 내가 이게 무슨 죄로.... 아이고오...”

“뭐가 어쨌다구 야단이예요.

 전 아직 그이만치 훌륭한 사람 보지 못했어요. 

 그래두 바보 온달이 이얘긴 잘만 하시데요.

 뭐 어디 대통령두 앙반이래야만 되나”

Son So-hee (Sep. 12, 1917~Jan. 7, 1987, Born in Gyeongseong, Hamgyeongbuk-do Prov.)

: 1946    Debuted with “Pitiful Parting of a Tapir“ published in literary magazine Baekmin

Works - “Iragi (1949),” “When Iris Bloom (1957)” etc.

Won the Seoul Cultural Award in 1960

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