Novelist Park Seong-won (38) has published two collections of stories, Yi Sang Yi Sang Yi Sang and We Are Running. Asked what literature is, he said, There is no use at all for literature. Even when it is used most importantly, it is just like stopping the bleeding temporarily after you have accidentally cut yourself with scissors. But it is because it is so useless that it never oppresses anyone.
As for his views on novels, he said, A purse is a means to carry things around, but when it is a luxury brand like Louis Vuitton, some people dont carry it because they are afraid of damaging it. I want to write about the modern symptoms of real things turning into fakes.
Kim Jong-gwang (36), who published The History of Graffiti Literature, said against a conventional way of thinking, A novel is said to be a product of conflict, but I dont understand this. So I shorten the conflict between characters. However, he cannot but keep writing. I feel as if I cannot keep air in my lungs if I am not writing, he said.
Unlike previous generations, Lee Ki-ho (35) does not think that writing is sublime or that one should have a sense of mission. He defines novel-writing as a profession as a kind of venture but not succumbing to the logic of economy. He distinguishes his generation from the previous one, which wrote in the spirit of literature or death, saying, I do not think that my writing should be like a gasoline bomb or contribute to the unification of Korea. And therefore, my generation is a happier one.
It was not easy for Shim Yoon-gyeong (35), who grew up in Seoul and majored in Molecular Biology, to enter the field of literature. She said, It is like you dont have a college degree in literary circles. But this makes me hungry for more.
Asked whether she would write or not write if she were born again, Kim Soom (33) answered, I havent thought about it. To her, what is important is now. She said, Writing can be a blessing or a curse, but I am thankful that I have an object to hold onto in life.
Baek Ga-heum (33) openly declares his intention to make readers uncomfortable. Oh Hyeon-jong (34) has his own clear view of a writer as someone who tempts readers with language.
In summary, these young writers will keep writing and everything else comes second. Park Beom-shin, who interviewed them, said, The future of our fictional literature lies in how their confessions and statements will influence their novels.