Translated by: Sol Sun-bong
Publisher: Jimoondang, 2002.
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“The Cry of the Magpies” is one of Kim, Dong-ni’s most famous and widely read short stories. From the depressing condition of life represented in the story by combining poverty, war, chronic illness, and hopelessness emerges various intensified forms of love, desire and longing. The cry of magpies, which is believed to foretell either the arrival of a welcome visitor or the visit of death, aptly symbolizes the two sides of human passion that sweep through the story.
In “Deungsin-bul”, Kim, Dong-ni examines the meaning of religious and spiritual engagement for a young man who desperately seeks a way to escape from a meaningless death in the Japanese army. This pursuit, however, leads him to a confrontation with the Deungsin-bul, the life-sized statue of a legendary Buddhist monk who burned himself as a sacrifice in order to redeem the sinful weaknesses of humanity.