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Korean Short Stories

Kim Kyung Ju Dry Ice 드라이아이스 Translated by Jeong Eungwi

Information This work was previously published in New Writing from Korea . Please contact the LTI Korea Library. library@klti.or.kr


About Kim Kyung Ju Kim Kyung Ju’s poems frequently feature a narrator who wanders ceaselessly without stopping in any one place. Like nomads, the narrators of his poems refuse to settle down and enjoy exploring the limits of freedom. In the midst of this fluid journey, they sense the deep essence of life. Kim works from various angles to preserve “the poetic” in a world that turns its back on poetry. Through lively negotiation with other genres of art, he seeks to overcome the crisis that is facing poetry. To that end, he not only writes poetry but is deeply interested in performances and events, such as exhibitions and book concerts. With his experience of active participation in diverse cultural activities, including theater, musicals, and independent films, as well as literature, he is working hard to enable smooth communication between young poets and writers and their readers by organizing literary festivals. LTI Korea eLibrary: http://library.klti.or.kr/node/27

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Dry Ice --Actually I am a ghost. A living being could never be this lonely. * There are times when, suddenly, I cannot recall mother's handwriting. And I can feel from the December windows that the time separating me and my birthplace is in a critical condition. That's romance. This life will be troubled to the very end. My head thrust into the refrigerator of the supermarket at the end of the alley, I rummage among the frozen goods, and suddenly touch a piece of dry ice. The frozen hours burn and stick to my skin. What could life-living in such cold, and then disappearing in such hot particlesbe wishing finally to deny? Could it be that, in that brief moment of touching, the hours, purer than the listless ardor, lived out all the times that had taken root in my body? I shiver as if all my body heat has been lost. I shine briefly in the alley with a gleam of mercury as if I have revealed all the nightscapes inside me. I shall perish as a martyr in the times that I could not live. A muddy wind passes through the moon while the airs that could not slowly rise into the sky flow, frozen, into the houses like ghosts. * From a poem by the ancient poet Cham Yeon. Copyright 2008 Literature Translation Institute of Korea

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[korean short stories]kim kyung ju, dry ice  
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