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Bloody war in a world without pain

Posted September. 11, 2023 08:23,   

Updated September. 11, 2023 08:23


The perfect painkiller, NSTRA-14, is invented. Without any additional or side-effects, the painkiller dispels all the pain in the world. The world seemed like heaven without any agony or pain. However, a new religious cult opposes a world without pain. Claiming that “pain makes us human,” the cult launches terrorist attacks on the employees of the pharmaceutical manufacturer of the painkiller. The employees murder the cult leader to achieve their vision of a pain-free world. Is a world without pain really heaven-line? Where is this war over pain headed to?

Author Chung Bora (age 37)’s novel titled “About Pain” (published by Dasan Group, photo) depicts a world without pain. Chung, known for her SF novels combined with a horror-based epic, has created a thriller that tracks the secrets of a murder case. In a telephone interview with the author on Friday, Jeong commented that she wished to “depict a real-like situation of people yearning for pain when it was removed.”

The author says the topic of pain came to her mind when she was writing her dissertation paper majoring in Slavic literature at the University of Indiana in 2009. Russian writers like Andrei Platonov (1899-1951) wrote Utopian novels dreaming of a world without pain as they endured the agony-stricken situation in Russia. The public began to raise questions about the agony of suffering from famine and the bloody Russian Revolution, and authors imagined a world without suffering.

“I depicted a religious cult in the novel because as shown in the recent religious cult JMS’ case, a society with hardship and suffering tends to seek religious cults,” the author said. “I began to write the novel after realizing that there are still many people who dream of a Utopian society.”

Chung gained global spotlight last year when her book of short stories titled “Cursed Bunny” was nominated for the International Booker Prize, known as one of the top three literary awards along with the Nobel Prize in Literature, Le Prix Goncourt of France. She is scheduled to lecture on Korean fantasy literature at the Berlin International Literature Festival on Tuesday (local time).