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Son of Kim Dong-ni

Posted February. 25, 2017 07:15,   

Updated February. 25, 2017 07:21


It was before the Korean War broke out. Jeong Ji-yong, a poet known for his poetry “Nostalgia,” came to visit his friend Kim Tong-ni who lived in Hyehwa-dong, Seoul. Jeong bought beef for Kim’s family and asked Kim’s wife to cook it for them. After some waiting, Jeong sneaked a look at the kitchen on his way to toilet. Surprisingly, Kim’s wife was just staring the beef. “What is the matter?” Kim asked. “It has been a while since we had beef. I don’t know how to cook beef anymore,” Kim’s wife replied perplexedly. After this conversation, Jeong approached to his friend and asked, “I never knew that your family is financially constrained. Why haven’t you turned to socialism yet?”

Kim Dong-ni began his career in literature as a poet, but more known for his novels among Korean. He went deep into the world of Zen and dealt with shamanism to capture the essence of oriental philosophy. His masterpiece includes “Ulhwa,” “Portrait of a Shaman,” and “Deungsinbul.” During the Japanese occupation period in Korea, he quitted writing and refused to involve in any pro-Japanese activities. After liberation from Japan, he led a right-wing organization “The Association of Young Korean Writers,” which stood against socialist organizations such as “Korean Writer's Alliance.” It has been told that Kim chose to support right-wing groups after Kim’s eldest brother, Kim Beom-bu, who was an Eastern philosopher, asked Kim to choose one side in time of anarchy and chaos.

“This will make you only as a chief representative of the National Assembly,” President Park Geun-hye’s lawyer, Kim Pyung-woo, yelled at Justice Kang Il-won at the Constitutional Court on February 22. He is the second son of Kim Dong-ni. Kim recently joined a team of lawyers representing President Park, while hearings near an end. However, he has been leading an aggressive attack from Park’s defense lawyers in her impeachment hearings. He even published a book titled “I impeach impeachment” and criticized the media treating allegations on Choi Soon-sil as if they were real. He blamed the media for the National Assembly’s decision to pass the impeachment bill on December 9. “I am over 70 years old now and not afraid of anything,” said Kim who openly spoke of his pride in his father.

Lee Mun-ku, an author of “Gwangchon Supil,” is known as Kim Dong-ni’s “literary son.” Lee’s family was destroyed after engaged in left-wing political activities. Lee decided to become a student of Kim. Kim accepted Lee and became his guardian for almost 30 years. Prosecutors could not interrogate or arrest Lee who was under the protection of Kim. Lee worked so hard to unite literary circles divided into the right and the left. His funeral in 2003 was jointly held by the Association of Writers for National Literature, International PEN and Korean Writers Association, which never happened before in the history of Korea’s literary community.