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Monday,December 5,2022
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Follow the path of great authors!‘Literature tour’ held by the main library each semester

 

   
 
  Recently, Main library held a 'Liturature Tour' to attract students to the many available literary works. Here some pictures are taken on the way of that trip.  
 
“She fell with a thud pushing my shoulder, my body overlapped hers in yellow ginger plant flowers.  The pungent and fragrant smell made me dizzy as if I was sinking in the field...”  In Ginger plant flowers, a short story written by Kim Yu-jeong, the main characters are a boy and girl who are filled with purity, humor, and warmth.  Though it was the middle of November and there were no flowers, visitors still packed in to visit Kim Yu-jeong,s birthplace and memorial museum.


“It is impressive to visit the background of famous Korean writers.  I didn,t know there was such a good program to travel to wonderful places for such a low cost, said Kim Hye-jin, a junior at Dongguk majoring in Education.  The main library at Dongguk University has held a  ‘Literature Tour’ each semester for the past 4 years in order to attract students to the many available literary works. During the overnight itinerary, the participants of the tour traveled from Chun-cheon city to Yang-pyeong city, where they visited the memorials of Kim Yu-jeong and Hwang Sun-won.


Kim Yu-jeong is well-known for describing life in rural communities by way of humor through traditional Korean performances known Pansori.  Satirical dramas normally tend to criticize characters; however, Kim Yu-jeong’s works defend the characters by telling the story through their thoughts and perspectives.  The source of this style of writing was derived from the circumstances he grew up in.  He lived around farmers and understood the details of their difficult lives.  Because of this, many of the characters as well as the stories themselves are based on actual people and events.


Although his family was wealthy, he lived in a modest house, perhaps one more aspect which added to his writing style.  “His Korean-style thatched house, which was built in the late 19th century, is significantly austere considering the hardship of the tenants’ life.  It is not a roofed house, and the storeroom is small even though his family was rich,” said Lee Seon-ja, a cultural tour guide of Chun-cheon city.
After getting a feel for his literary world, the participants also visited a couple tourist attractions.  Both So-yang Dam, which is on the So-yang River, as well as Nami Island are located in Chun-cheon city, so participants were able to enjoy a variety of attractions in just one day.


Although everyone was excited to visit new places there wasn’t enough free time to look around or sample all the delicious foods available.  Spicy stir-fried chicken ribs, sliced raw trout, Dongchimi (radish water kimchi) noodles, etc... all this food looks so good!  I wasn’t pleasant to try all the food because it would have taken too much time to move between restaurants.  I was a little tired because we travelled to each destination by bus and the time between stops was too long.  It would have been better to stop at restaurants closer to each other, said Kim Hye-jin.

 

   
 
   
 

 

The reason for the long gap between stops was my old navigation machine.  I have used it for the past three years, but it has not been updated recently, so newly constructed roads don’t show up on it.  This increased the driving time between destinations.”  Noh Chang-oh, the head of the Humanities section in the main library said.  Noh promised to update his navigation system in order to make the schedule more efficient.


He added, to map out the ‘Literature Tour’ and lessen the time between each destination I visit each place individually a few days before the actual tour begins.  I choose the best restaurant for each destination and also consider the time required to get there.  However, this time it was unfortunate because my navigation system had not been updated.


On the second day of travel they visited the Memorial of Hwang Sun-won, a famous Korean novelist.  His showpieces are short stories like ‘Shower’, ‘Star’, and ‘Descendant of Cain’. The Memorial park was so huge that participants were not able to view the entire area. The memorial has a museum surrounded by a broad forest.  This allows visitors to really get a feel for the main characters of stories like ‘Shower’, by allowing them to walk through the trails where the atmosphere of the story originated. As inspiring as this was, participants had to skim through the trails because of the limited amount of time.


There were no guides at the Memorial, so participants had to depend on video and audio exhibits. One participant stated, This ‘Literature tour’ program is quite good, but it would be better if there were tour guides to show us around the most important historic sites and explain their signifigance.”


We submitted another ‘Literature Tour’ program to the school to provide even more educational benefits to Donggukians.  However, the school could not afford our proposal because of its tight budget.  If money was made available, we could travel to literary sites and invite writers to lead discussions on important works as well as express their opinions and aid students in the writing process, said Noh.  He added that this program is also available to foreign students at Dongguk as well.  Foreigners will receive the announcement of this program in English or Chinese, and they will be able to join the tour accompanied by a translator.

Yun Seon-ju  besensible@dongguk.edu

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