The other dad got angry, seeing this dad had given up talent, but at the same time thought it was his own opportunity, for while this dad had his own home and money, there was nothing in the world belonging to him. He had to do something. He began to draw pictures featuring funnels connecting the two different worlds. Mom borrowed money to arrange an art room for his work and attached on the walls old newspaper fragments, ragged clothing, his earlier pictures etc. ( from “Survived Children”)
Explanation: Death in the picture in the picture in the picture…….
Editor’s comments (excerps)
It was the will of you that resolved to bear, but whose will was it that
resoved to be born?
This book is of short stories of people living a life hurt, needy or lonely but
never abandonable. People come who have nothing in mind but survival because
life is to them too burdensome. Ironically the reader finds things beautiful
and worthy in it.
Ms Park, the writer, grips perfectly and takes firm responsibility for her stories.
She is very sensitive in choosing words and completing sentences as well.
Brief contents of each story
A man appears who easily let go things from his hands due to lack of gripping power. The stories of his parents and of his love affairs come. His mother tells him her life story- marriage to his father, once her closest friend, producing two kids, divorce etc. He philanders after this girl and that, drops it, makes her cry and depart, sometimes in such a muddy life, however, thinks over his own being.
It was they who decided to bear, but who was it that decided to be born? Whose will was it that determined the fast-and-strongest half self among millions of desperate swimmers, and whose will was it at the same time that gave power to the another half to attract the strongest half? The mathematic probability for him to be in this world might have been much lower than to be struck by a lightening. All this kind of thoughts led him to dizziness…(on p44 of the book)
I quit my job at a game company, take all the money out from the bank account and leave for east-southern Asia to enjoy scuba diving. Days pass too fast. One day my diving partner suggests to explore together reaching to a deep area not ever touched before. I dive deep and deep beyond usual limit. Finally I feel oxygen is running out, falling into fear.
Oh when and how to this depth? Horror attacked me like something felt in a dark night when I was a baby. The area was all dark, seeming to engulf me up. The darkness was a great monster and I was just a worm. No other one knew what we were trying to do. Min neither did, so he was sure to be just awaiting us to emerge above. The area was nearly 70 metres deep. Only 10 seconds’ distance on the land! I was absolutely alone. (from p 67)
A vampire with different DNA lives together with normal people. Vampire Hyemin, who has to hug trauma because her mom has taken away only Hyemin’ brother when she leaves dad, meets Jaemin. He, a normal, has been getting along without any one to talk with or to be attractive to.
She stopped down hands and looked up at Kyungyun, who was staring at her.
“Do you know what you have to do when you want to keep relationship?” Hyeyun had never had such a problem before, however, she abruptly acknowledged that the answer to her question was what she wanted most at the moment.
“What should I do?”
“Not to say the true reason why to be together.” (from p105)
Jaemin waited for his turn to speak. No one tried to hear from him though their
topic was all on him. They were shuddering as if he was not there, as if he was not listening. He actually thought the time was ripe enough to say. To say he was OK, not afraid of being with them anymore. But they never gaved him a single moment to speak even until they changed theme and finalized it. There was nothing Jaemin could do but keep silent and to listen to them.
Jaemin finally noticed they neither talked at all, for when one of them was speaking, none of the others was listening. The only reason for them to hear there was to have to await till the speaker put period., in order to take a chance to say. (from p110)
I grew up in deep mountains, being abused by my parents. There was no mirror at home. The first time I ever saw my face was when my father killed mother and looked into my eyes, My poor face was trembling in his eyes. After father died soon, I moved to my grandmother’s home. The city had too many show windows to hide myself. I at last made up my mind to survive assuming my life is a stage, me an actress on it, namely, I am another person.
Utmost stage. Void. Too bad. I had concentrated ceaselessly too long on one role. I was exhausted as if suffered from miscarriage or divorce. It’s difficult to earn money but money brought convenience to difficulties. When I was walking out of the law office with him, an interview with an actor came to my mind. The actor performed the role of a man with inconvenient legs. One day during performance his legs became actually paralyzed on the stage. Indulged deep into the reminder, I couldn’t hear his voice. Just before entering the subway I found him in the show window looking at me. Oh it was too late to find out that I had left him alone as soon as we had been out. I had to smile when leaving each other. He had been my husband anyway, so farewell had to be comfortable. As an actress I had to do my best. Was I so much tired to do? I turned back and left stage. (from p143)
Here is a robot which serves its owner and treats a range of housework. Most of robot owners do as a friend to their robot, but this owner deletes various vocal and emotional functions in her robot and names it “Butler” after its trademark and considers it as nothing more than a set of machine. Just as this owner has never been out of her town, her robot neither has left her home.
One day the owner decides to move to the moon. At the last night on earth she speaks for the first time to her butler.
Ma’am returned home at 11o’clock 34 minute 19second. She cannot walk straight. Pulse level is at 110-120 per min., which is a little higher than average : 90-100. Not very bad but have to arrange to notice the situation of the hospital. Ma’am is lying on the sofa. (from p163)
“Change the TV chanel”
Noisy laughter flows out from the TV.
“Another chanel!, butler, water!”
I choose a cup of water from the refiner. The cup descends and water occupies
80 percent of it. I carry the cup and tray into the living room and put the tray on the table and the cup on it. 10 to 20 decibel of voice sounds from Ma’am’s neck. I feed her voice into the sound data system and gets the result that the closest sound to hers is cry. (from p164)
The students live in their school. The school demands a student as a victim every
month. Without a victim the students cannot survive. The school is enclosed with
trees where monsters stay. If a student succeeds to survive, he/she graduates and becomes an adult, then finally escapes the school and trees to enter a company. Hyekyung has lived quietly in order to stay alive, but after the beloved representative student fall into victim for a scandal, Hykung herself becomes their prey in midst of confusion. She quits school and joins drop-outs in the woods.
I have tried to be a less sensitive person who pretends to lack something. The reason why, however, was not that I didn’t want to be hurt by others but instead
I wanted to be one who hurt them. (from p197)
:You do not have friends, right? I know most of the students in your school do not know you, even many of your classmates don’t either. There is not a single student in the school who thinks that you are a useful person, or that you are to be protected as a friend, or you should not be elected, or at least you are the person to be thought helpful for others not to be elected. Why should you not be elected? Why not while there are those who are more useful than you or who would make others moan for loss? Why should you stay along?
My head hummed, I felt dizzy and was about to vomit everything in my guts. But
I should not surrender. How long had I been fighting with the situation surrounding me? I barely stood up and cried.
“So what? I know I have few people who love me. Why then is that the reason of my death? What is the logical connection between the two statements?
I shall survive, because I wish and I have to!!! (from p219-220)
Chaihee is an illustrator, freelancer. When projects order increases and It seems too burdensome for her to do house-work as well, she purchases a clone. Once a clone is added, additional works are found. She purchases another clone. But things get into more complicated again. Life with clones is quite different from life divided.
Chaihee answered but didn’t move. Each of the two had things to carry out but they were tired, and moreover too hungry. They had to eat before cleaning the restroom and calling a repair technician. Hee stood up slowly, took retort rice out of the cupboard and rewarmed it. After meal Hee cleaned the table, spoons and chopsticks.
“How did they live along in the world without any washing machine, automatic cleaner or frozen food in old days? They washed clothes with their hands, carry water, cooked over the fire of wood……can you imagine?”, said Chaihee regretfully.
“Maybe they could not draw pictures, could not invent clones”, added Hee.
Chahee spontaneously burst into laughter and Hee thought over a time and followed to laugh.
‘We are two. Why then can’t we wrap up more quickly? Isn’t it too long a time since we went out?” (from p 278)
I never get old or die. I don’t know the reason. What must be dreamlike to most people is to me too vague and bleak, so I seek every night methods to die. Some way to die accompanies a great pain. I as the result have to live in various kinds of horror, which hinders my personal or social relationships
Mozart composed Minuet at age 6, an orchestra at 9 and an opera at 12. Such accomplishments don’t come through just training. Some unoppressable boiling of passion might make them.
There was nothing he could do well. He didn’t do anything but did what he needed to do in order to be without any relationship with his will.
The vessel was not fully cut up. He opened the cut and tore the red flesh one more time. A severer pain attacked him. 4 painkillers were of no use. The bathtub was all red.
He opened eyes, pulled out the stopper at the bottom, cleaned himself and wore his clothes. Exhausted up, he threw himself on the sofa and fell asleep. (from p314-315)
Hichul lives with his mom, dad and syster, but argues mom and dad are not his and he has a brother. Not only the psychiatrist but also people around think Hichul has some kind of psychiatric problem. However. Hichul’s family know his argument is right. His father, a painter, has a special talent to draw the door which leads to the parallel universe. Such talent of his brings repeated misfortunes to the people living in that universe.
Hichul’s sights are on where nothing exists. What he is looking at or whether he sees after all, no one can ever notice. He begins to say lazily.
“Brother says, there can’t exist two same persons in one world. This world is that of my original parents. So when they return, sister’s parents have to be gone.”
“Is your brother here now?”
Hisun turned her face to the right.
Hisun put the fork down.
“Terrable. I’m going. I will try. And….”
Hisun looked to the left.
“Please send my words to Hijae, Live well! You are emancipated from mom and dad anyway, isn’t it great?”
Hisun stopped saying, embarrassed. And then tears dropped down. She was laughing, with hands on her face.
“I will live well, too” (from p 374”)