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“An Undertaker’s Happy Startup Plan" by Kim Lee-eun

#Books on Demand l 2019-06-04

Books on Demand

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Here’s a story about an unplanned family trip.


The time was when other people held memorial services at their ancestors’ graves and families gathered to go on outings. At a glance, it didn’t look at all strange, but our family trip was quite unusual. 


But we have only an hour and a half to spare. 


We are going to see our father. We have drive like hell. 


때 아닌 가족 여행에 관한 이야기.


남들 다 성묘하고 차례 치르고 식구들끼리 삼삼오오 모여 나들이 가는 시절이니

외형만 보자면 이상하달 것도 없겠으나.

우리의 가족 여행은 사뭇 남달랐으니.

우리에게 주어진 시간은 단 한시간 반.

우리는 아빠에게 간다. 뭐 빠지게 달려야 해.



Interview by literary critic Jeon So-yeong

Even if they were to arrive safely at the place where their father was, they would fight each other over the money. Their greed and fight over money would eventually lead to death. The protagonist believes the road they’re on leads to death and that thought gave birth to such hallucinations.



I’m now at Shindo Island. Everyone, come over to this place. I’m going to tell you which one of you is going to get the compensation money. If you don’t come, forget about the money.


나 지금 신도에 있다. 모두들 이리 와라.

누구한테 보상금을 줄지 말해줄 테니.

안 오면 보상금은 모두 잊어야 할 거야



That call came at exactly 5:40 PM. The last ship to Shindo Island was at 7:10 PM. Mother’s bald lover stepped hard on the accelerator to make up for the lost time. The car was going way over the speed limit, but nobody in the car cared.  



At the end of the road stood Sammok Dock. The car carrying the family was racing toward the end of the road. Now the car needed to pull over and they had to board the boat. 

But the car wouldn’t come to a stop.


High up, from far away, a plane was approaching. And the ship came even closer. The plane, the ship, and the car carrying us were hurtling toward one another from the three points of a triangle. What would happen if the three points met at one place?


7:07:07 PM.


길의 끝, 드디어 삼목선착장이다.

가족 모두를 태운 자동차가 길 끝을 향해 질주하고 있다.

이제 차를 멈추고 배에 오르면 된다.


그런데. 차가 멈추지 않는다.

저 높이, 멀리서부터 비행기가 다가왔다.

그리고 배도 더 가까워진다.

비행기와 배, 그리고 우리를 태운 자동차가 삼각형 꼭짓점에서

서로를 향해 고속으로 질주한다. 

세 개의 점이 한 곳에서 만나면 어떻게 될까.

일곱시 공칠분 공칠초




Kim Lee-eun (Born in Seoul, 1973)

: Debuted in 2002 by publishing “The Scissors of Ilizarov” on Modern Literature

Published “Madagascar Suicide Prevention Center” and more

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