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In Search of a Lost Past: Who Ate Up All the Shinga? by Park Wansuh


Park Wansuh was an outstanding storyteller and prolific writer who filled Korean literature with spirit and vigor. Park’s novels are characterized by her straightforward and penetrating style. Her style, which is like a skillful weaving of boldness and sensitivity makes readers feel as if they are touching a piece of smooth fabric. In particular, her ability to expose selfishness, secular greed, falsity, and accurately depict multiple layers of human psychology is unrivaled. Her infinite narrative imagination is based on her own experiences that were more dramatic than her novels. Her childhood and youth coincided with the most turbulent period of Korean modern and contemporary history from the Japanese occupation of Korea to the Korean War. During her formative years, when the emotional rapport between the self and the world is most sensitive and active, Park experienced the tumultuous history of Korea. This experience became a constant source of repeated trauma in her novels. For Park, the life she experienced was in itself the treasury and the origin of her literary imagination.



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