• Book
  • English(English)

우리는 매일매일

  • Author
  • Country
    Republic of Korea
  • Publisher
  • Published Year
  • Genre
    Literature - Korean literature - Contemporary poetry



    Title: We, Day by Day Rights Sold

    Author: Jin Eun-young

    Genre: Poetry


    LTI Korea staff: Alex Baek ( / +82-2-6919-7741)


    The copyright of this title has been sold. (Translation and publication supported by LTI Korea)


  • About the book


    Jin Eun-­‐young’s poetic world is described as “thoughts displayed endlessly, symbols of dream-­‐language, daily life and common subjects displayed as sensuous in unfamiliar ways, and a practical exploration about humanity.” We, Day by Day is composed of three parts with a total of forty-­‐nine poems. Jin’s second poetry book is filled with unfamiliar metaphors that strike us in our hearts and brains, which couldn’t have been created without deep and agonized contemplation. Those metaphors are extremely tidy and even beautiful. The overall book is formed by a mixture of “reserved and divided voices of poetic speech that hasn’t been yet systematized, denying the lyrical identity of 90’s poems,” according to literary critic Lee Gwang-­‐ho. Thus, her poetry has shades of Choi Seung-­‐ja’s influence, but the gap between her intense consciousness and poetic words shine in their own light. Jin’s fresh poems, organized within the opposing coexistence of coldness and sweetness, arouse affection of sympathy from her audience.


    Part 1, subtitled “Melancholia,” begins with the poem “Beautiful” and ends with the titular “We, Day by Day.” She has sharp eyes watching contrasting situations and phenomena of life exactly as they are (With cherries stuffed / in the pockets of our white shirts / we fall every day // We consider at great length / but say wrong things / shaking darkness inside an ebony chest that has no key — from “We, Day by Day”) but the phrases exposing the contradictions can only be expressed as “tidy and beautiful.” (If you were beautiful today / you’d be like a shining hairpin in a dead woman’s hair / you’d be like a picture that catches the eye of the blind / . . . / you’d be like the salty taste of the long neck of a salt giraffe in the savanna / during the rainy season and — from “Beautiful”).


    The key points of her poetry are her descriptive thoughts amplified by concise expressions, as if feeling the quiet tremor of a body without the need for shouts or chanted slogans. Holding these features effectively, the poetry book We, Day by Day is divided into three parts. At first glance, the voices seem to be split. But when carefully considered, the poems opening and closing each part are arranged organically and elaborately. Each part flows naturally into the next until the final poem, “Beginning of a Certain Song” clearly reveals where her poems have been heading: “You gave me coldness / My frozen fingers in your apple green turtleneck, / like willow flowers/ / You gave me darkness / My eyes in the glare of a basement whose light was just turned on // Lips were opened to me / The dazed hotness of a stovepipe / connected to the breath of aromatic wood-­‐burning fireplace // . . .// And the enigmatic thing began”.


    The paradoxes and sensual fragments in her poems reflect the attitude of a poet who recognizes the world as Spinoza said: “I have labored carefully, not to mock, lament, or execrate, but to understand human actions.”


    Jin herself has remarked that the purpose of poetry “is to bring useless things, things seen as deserted, to life. Instead of ostentatious words, I will find the right places for ordinary, undervalued words, and let them shine.”


    About the author


    Jin Eun-­‐young (1970) has three books of poetry, including Dictionary Composed of Seven Words (2003), We, Day by Day (2008), and Songs Being Stolen(2012). She has also written books about philosophical studies, including Taking Reason to Court (2004), Nietzsche, Philosophy of Eternal Recurrence and Difference (2007), and Atopos of Literature (2014). She teaches at Korea Counseling Graduate University.


    Jin has been continually building interest and affection from Korean readers for her sensuous imagery and unique metaphors. As a philosopher, she has been continuously expanding her own realm of poetry, a new world where sociological imagination, political reflections and poetic features are blended together in her intensely critical consciousness.


    About the translators


    Jin won the 2008 Young Poet prize (awarded by fellow authors) and has also received the Kim Dal-­‐jin Literary Award for Young Poets (2011), the Contemporary Literature Award (2011), the Chun Sang-­‐byung Poetry Prize (2013) and the Daesan Literary Award (2013).


    She participated in a colloquy with French philosopher Alain Badiou in the conference Stop, Think hosted by the College of Humanities at Kyung Hee University in 2013.


    Jin also participated in the 2013 World Writers’ Festival co-­‐hosted by Dankook University and Suwon City. At that time, she and Jane Hirshfield read their poems and had a discussion about living as a poet and writing poetry as a woman. Jin said then, “ Poetry enhances my life and makes me realize I’m not alone. Poetry seems even more precious since it has no utility. I think finding the right places for insightful thoughts about specific objects and ordinary words is also the role of poetry.”


    Korean literary critic Shin Hyeong-­‐cheol has said that Jin’s books strongly prove that the debates on literature and politics that have been ongoing in Korean literary circles since 2008 are both real and practical.


    Media Response/Awards Received


    Ji Young-­‐sil and Daniel T. Parker are a married translation team living in Daegu, South Korea. Ji graduated from Keimyung University and is a freelance translator specializing in contemporary Korean poetry. Parker was a journalist for 13 years, has an M.A. in English Literature from Murray (Ky.) State University, and taught at Murray State, Paducah (Ky.) Community College, the University of Tennesee-­‐Martin and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. from 1993-­‐2001. He has taught at Keimyung University since 2001 and is currently an assistant professor for the English Language & Literature department. Their first poetry translation, Ra Hee-­‐duck’s The Wild Apple, will be published by White Pine Press in 2015; White Pine has also agreed to publish their translations of Someone Always in the Corner of My Eye by Shim Bo-­‐seon


    (2016) and Jin Eun-­‐young’s We, Day by Day (2017 or 2018).


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