Winners of 2016 Hanyang Newspaper Literary Contest
Lee Dong-won (Economics, ERICA, 3rd yr) and Kim Jun-sung (Korean Language and Literature, 4th yr)
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Writing is one of the most creative activities that humans can engage in. Authors portray their inner thoughts and the world around them through writing, which touches upon the hearts of many. On December 5th, the winners of the 2016 Hanyang Newspaper Literary Contest were chosen from numerous competitors both from Hanyang University (HYU)'s Seoul and ERICA Campuses. This week, News H met the winners of Korean poetry and written criticism fields, Lee Dong-won (Department of Economics, ERICA Campus, 3rd yr) and Kim Jun-sung (Departmnet of Korean Language and Literature, Seoul Campus, 4th yearr) respectively.
The shimmering reasons of victory
The Hanyang News Literary contest has a 49-year history that selects excellent student writers of Korean poetry, prose, and written criticism on culture, literature, academics or film. The two victors expressed their delight in winning and said that the contest gave them an opportunity to become more passionate about writing and think more about it.
Lee commented, “I participated in the contest due to my interest in writing poems. I am grateful for the good results, and I plan to participate in more literary contests. As for my work, I got the idea for it when I was watching a documentary about the life of a man who produces salt in a salt field, and so the title is ‘The Old Saltmaker.’”
Kim's writing, named ‘Psychoanalysis and Women’, is about how women are viewed in the academic domain of psychoanalysis. "This is also my final report for Women, History, and Media class. I am thankful for my professor, and fellow students who gave me feedback,” said Kim. He entered the contest because he was curious about how his work would be appraised, and the experience became a chance for Kim to write better.
Among all the contestants, Lee and Kim‘s work stood out due to their deep contemplations about their chosen fields, and their work that reflected their considerations. “I tend to lead people to think for themselves through my writing, rather than imposing my own thoughts unto the readers. I think that is the reason why my work was selected,” said Lee. ‘The Old Saltmaker’ depicts a day of an old man making salt. Described in a detailed manner, it gives the reader comfort and leaves lasting impressions.
“When writing a piece of written criticism, choosing a theme and organizing the content in a consistent way is very important. Because I studied and applied a lot of theories to my work from academics such as Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan, I could write with less difficulty,“ explained Kim. According to him, there are some discriminating viewpoints toward women in the field of psychoanalysis. So in his writing, Kim tried to point out those points and tried to find the elements that still remain discriminatory.
The meaning of writing
Lee and Kim were interested in writing since they were in high school. Lee, praised by his teachers of his writing capacity, developed his abilities by entering various literary contests in those days. Kim had many worries when he was a freshman in high school. He contemplated about how to express his complex feelings, and started writing novels. As Kim studied diverse literary domains in his major, including criticism, he became interested in that genre as well. “I decided to go for the written criticism field in the contest because I gained interest in it during my classes. Through it, I can logically express and organize my thoughts,” said Kim.
Lee and Kim’s hobby of writing continues on to the present. Their passion keeps them writing consistently in their daily lives. “I usually write diaries about two or three times a week, as well as short memos whenever I get inspired by something. I read them a few times to see whether those thoughts can develop into interesting pieces of writing,” revealed Lee. “I come up with ideas from books and everyday life. Since I like to write stories as well as criticisms, I find novels helpful,” said Kim. Lee studies vocabulary from dictionaries to improve his expressions in poetry. He also enjoys reading collections of poems, such as Mun Tae-jun’s Kajaemi (halibut). Kim believes in and tries to fulfill the need to read, write, and think a lot in order to write well.
Lee is to keep on writing poems in the future, and he wants to develop his own world of poetry. “I want to broaden and deepen the ideas in my poems. I also want to contemplate the problems of modern society through poetry,” Lee explained. Kim is to study psychoanalysis in depth, from Jacques Lacan to Slavoj Zizek in graduate school, and continue on writing. After that, Kim is planning to find a job at a publishing company because of his love of reading books. To Kim, writing is like searching for an answer to life’s complicated questions. For every authors and readers, writing is like a window that reveals the inner feelings, ideas, and thoughts of the writer to the world. As future writers, Lee and Kim are trying to open that window to confront life and the world we live in.
Jang Soo-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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