Yang Geum-Hee: “I believe that literature has the power to unify the world and people”

Επιμέλεια συνέντευξης: Εύα Πετροπούλου Λιανού

Mετάφραση: Byeong Cheol Kang

Poetess Yang Geum-Hee was born in 1967 in Jeju, Korea. She published 2collections of poetry book, “Happiness Account” and “Ieodo, Island of Legend and Existence”, and 1 collections of essay “Happy Companion”. She was the first president of the Ieodo LiteratureAssociation, the editor in chief of the Jeju in News. And worked as a research fellow of the Society of Ieodo Research. She served as a researcher at Jeju Sea Grand Center at Jeju National University and a special professor at Jeju International University. Currently, she is an editorial writer of New Jeju Ilbo, a special researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences of Jeju National University, a vice-president of the Jeju Regional Committee of the International PEN Korea Headquarters, an Executive of the Jeju Institute for the Korean Unification and an Executive of the Korean Association of Ethics. She won 4 Literary Awards.

Please share your thoughts about the future of literature. I believe that literature has the power to unify the world and people. There is a saying that people who do not read books have no future. As social beings, human beings constantly interact and communicate through mutual relationships. Trustworthy human relationships will enrich a happy life and strengthen solidarity. If you cannot understand other people, life will seem painful, boring and long to you. Through literature, we can truly understand others. Happy people are good at interacting and communicating with others. If there are many people who can make warm memories together, the sense of isolation from society will be largely resolved and a more prosperous and happy future will be created. I believe that literature will continue to serve as a lighthouse in the future to relieve social isolation and easily share the wisdom and knowledge of others. Even if you don’t meet in person, you can share the happiness of others, get motivation through the wisdom of life, and think that it will also play a role in solidarity. As a bridge of wisdom connecting people, I believe that literature will serve as a stepping stone for those who dream of higher ideals to realize their dreams.

When u start writing? I started writing in 2004. In 2009, I published my first collection of poetry, ‘Happy Account’. I tried to put the hope that readers will be happier through the simple happiness that can be found in nature and daily life.

The Good and the Bad. I simply believe that helping others is good and harming others is Bad. We should always try to help others because people are selfish beings who always think only of their own interests.

Who is winning in nowadays? We have, and will continue to live in times of uncertainty. Nevertheless, I believe that people who yearn for peace have won and will continue to do so. In particular, the recent war between Russia and Ukraine reminded people all over the world how important peace is. People all over the world must have clearly realized that wars in other countries are not related to distant countries that have nothing to do with them, but are closely related to us. Due to the impact of the war, the world is facing a food security crisis, skyrocketing grain prices, experiencing economic hardship, rising international oil prices and rising raw material prices. More than ever, we are eagerly hoping for world peace to be established. History has proven that human history is a history of war and struggle. It means that it is difficult to achieve peace. The road to peace is long and arduous, but peace has irreplaceable value. For this reason, peace has long been longed for by mankind, and will be one of the hopes to be realized in the future. It is an unchanging truth that when winter comes, spring follows. Just like the cycle of the seasons, I believe that the victors will be those who long for a peaceful world. 

How many books have you written And where can we find your books? I published 2 collections of poetry book, “Happiness Account” and “Ieodo, Island of Legend and Existence”, and 1 collections of essay “Happy Companion”. I published some articles about world affairs, “South China Sea Conflicts and ‘Freedom of Navigation’ Operation,” E-Journal of Korea Maritime Security Forum(ISSN 2465-809X, 2015) etc. I did not translate my works in foreign languages. So, one can buy my book in Korean bookstores.

The book. E book or Hardcover book. I like hardcover because it feels classy and formal when I read a book, but from a practical point of view, I tend to read paperback most of the time. E-books have the advantage of being easy to find and read on the Internet without carrying them. Still, I recommend hardcover book.

What will be the future? I think that as the world is developing from day to day, e-readers and e-books is likely to increase, e- books will continue to increase in need, meanwhile paper books also have their importance. I think that hard cover books will keep being a part of the reader’s life.

A wish for 2023. For spiritual enrichment, I will try to keep my mind in a peaceful state, controlling my emotions and instincts and not being dominated by desires. In the meantime, I will try to find true freedom and happiness. Also, I will try to write poetry that can comfort people’s hearts and bring peace to their mind. I plan to publish more books that touch readers hearts. When there are many happy people, society becomes warmer. In that respect, I will try to help others through volunteer work.

A phrase from your book In every meeting there is a relationship. Just as a flowing waters does not go up against the river, there is a law of nature that cannot be violated regardless of the East or the West. Just like ‘meeting must breaking up, being born must face dying’, when we meet, our ties will break up someday, and living things will someday die. Life may be walking down a path intertwined with time and space. It is natural for people’s thoughts and emotions to change depending on the environment. Therefore, I think once again that I should try to understand rather than judge and judge others, cherish meetings, and live with consideration and respect for others.

Collections of essay “Happy Companion”-

Thank you so much…