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"Rainy Season" by Yun Heung-gil

#Books on Demand l 2020-01-21

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Yun Heung-gil’s “Rainy Season” was published in literary magazine Literature and Intellect in 1973. The story describes one family’s ideological conflict and reconciliation during the Korean War. 



The rain, which started right after the green pea harvest, continued for days. 

We were gathered in my grandmother’s room.


“You wait and see if I’m wrong. You will all know before long. Has my dream ever been wrong?” 


Ever since she woke up early in the morning, Granny has been going on and on about her darn dream.


밭에서 완두를 거두어들이고 난 바로 그 이튿날부터 시작된 비가

며칠이고 계속해서 내렸다.

그 때 우리는 외할머니가 거처하는 건넌방에 모여 있었다.

“내 말이 틀리능가 봐라.

 인제 쪼매만 있으면 모다 알게 될 것이다.

 이 나이 먹드락 내 꿈이 틀린 적이 어디 한 번이나 있디야?” 

새벽잠에서 깨면서부터 줄곧 외할머니는 

그 놈의 꿈 얘기만 늘어놓고 있었다.



Interview by SNU Korean Literature Professor Bang Min-ho

The narrator of this story is an innocent child. It is his account of what happened between his two grandmothers and his parents. It was commonplace during the Korean War to have sons from one family fight for South Korea while those from another branch of the family side with North Korea. Yun Heung-gil’s “Rainy Season” shows this internal conflict within a family. The author intended to condense the Korean people’s tragedy into a family issue.  



“Your mother spent many days preparing these dishes for you. Take a good look at them even if you can’t eat them.” 


After these comforting words, Granny stirred the ember inside a bowl. When she placed Grandmother’s hair on top, the hair strands started to sizzle and burn. 

The serpent started moving slowly. Granny stepped aside to let it pass.


Spurred on by Granny’s hoarse voice, the serpent slithered past the well and crossed the backyard to leave the house.


“Thank you, dear. Don’t worry about the family. Just take care of yourself and travel safely.” 


“자네 오면 줄라고 노친께서 여러 날 들여 장만헌 것일세.

 먹지는 못헐망정 눈요구라도 허고가소”

이야기를 다 마치고 외할머니는 불씨가 담긴 그릇을 헤집었다.

그 위에 할머니의 흰머리를 올려놓자

지글지글 끓는 소리를 내면서 타오르기 시작했다.

그토록 오랜 시간을 버티던 그것이 서서히 움직이기 시작했다.

 “쉐어이! 숴어이!”

외할머니의 쉰 목청을 뒤로 받으며

그것은 우물곁을 거쳐 넓은 뒤란을 어느 덧 완전히 통과했다.

“고맙네, 이 사람,

 집안일은 죄다 성님한티 맡기고 

자네 혼자 몸띵이나 지발 성혀서 먼 걸음 펜안히 가소”




Yun Heung-gil (Born in 1942, Jeongeup, Jeollabuk-do Prov.)

: Debuted in 1968 with “The Season of a Gray Crown” published in Hankook Ilbo

Won the 12th Daesan Literary Award in 2004 and the 14th Modern Buddhist Literary Award in 2010, etc.

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