Friend by Paek Nam-nyong


Paek Nam-nyong

A beautiful insight into the life and mores of a communist society. I followed a judge who has been asked to settle a divorce between a young couple, but hesitates to do so to protect their young child. The judge’s search into the possibilities and limits of giving a helping hand made me reflect on the importance of the individual versus the interests of society. Alternately compassionate, moralistic, flowery, but above all so human.


Sun Hee shuddered at the sound of reality. It was her son, Ho Nam. He was sitting by the sliding door between the two rooms. She was able to make out the silhouette of her son fearfully hugging a pillow in the dark. Ho Nam had been sitting there because he had not decided which room to sleep in. His father was sleeping in the main room and his mother in the other room. The two rooms, which were separated by only a sliding door, appeared to be worlds apart. They had turned off the lights to go to sleep many hours ago, but Ho Nam sat between the two rooms, amid the tense atmosphere, completely alone and dejected. Su Hee recognized Seok Chun’s stubbornness in Ho Nam, a resemblance that displeased her greatly. However, she could not suppress her motherly love.

'Come here, sweetheart.'

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