Jin-su is coming back. Jin-su is coming back alive. Someone was notified of death and some others haven’t heard at all about whether their loved ones are dead or alive. But our Jin-su is coming back alive today. The more he thought about it, the more elated he became. 

진수가 돌아온다. 진수가 살아서 돌아온다.

아무개는 전사했다는 통지가 왔고, 아무개 아무개는 죽었는지 살았는지 통 소식이 없는데,

우리 진수는 살아서 오늘 돌아오는 것이다.

생각할수록 어깻바람이 날 일이다.


“The Suffering of Two Generations” begins with the scene in which the father, Man-do, looks forward to the homecoming of his son, Jin-su, who had been fighting in the Korean War. 

#Interview by literary critic Jeon So-yeong

To Han Geun-chan, novels were the means to bring back the stories of numerous victims left unwritten in history instead of the publicized parts of war. “The Suffering of Two Generations” is the product of his intention. 



Watching his son hobble on crutches, the father, with only one arm, followed him slowly. The fish danced this way and that in his hand.

“Father, I don’t know how I can live on like this.”

“What do you mean how? You can live if you can breathe. Don’t be foolish.”

지팡이를 짚고 기우뚱기우뚱 앞서가는 아들의 뒷모습을 바라보며

팔뚝이 하나밖에 없는 아버지가 느릿느릿 따라가는 것이다.

손에 매달린 고등어가 곧장 달랑달랑 춤을 춘다.

“아부지... 이래 가지고 나 우째살까 싶습니더”

“우째 살긴 뭘 우째 살아. 목숨만 붙어 있으면 다 사는 기다.  그런 소리 하지 마라“



When they arrive at the river, the father worries about how his one-legged son would cross the narrow, single log bridge. 



Jin-su, holding his crutches in one hand and the mackerel in the other, slowly got on his father’s back. 

Man-do held his abdomen tight and stood up with a groan. Carefully stepping onto the bridge, Man-do swallowed his thoughts. ‘What a pity for such a young man to be like this. Your lot in life is shitty, having been born into this shitty world.’ Piggy-backing on his father’s back, Jin-su muttered quietly inside his head that his father was dreadfully unlucky for having a crippled son like him and that it would have been better if he had just died.

Dragon Head Hill soaring tall before their eyes quietly looked down on them. 

진수는 지팡이와 고등어를 각각 한 손에 쥐고,

아버지의 등어리로 가서 슬그머니 업혔다.

외나무 다리 위로 조심조심 발을 내디디며 만도는 속으로

이제 새파랗게 젋은 놈이 벌써 이게 무슨 꼴이고,

세상을 잘못 만나서 진수 니 신세도 참 똥이다 똥, 이런 소리를 주워섬겼고,

아버지의 등에 업힌 진수는 곧장 미안스러운 얼굴을 하며

나꺼정 이렇게 되다니 아부지도 참 복도 더럽게 없지.

차라리 내가 죽어 버렸으면 나았을 낀데....

하고 속으로 중얼거렸다.

눈앞에 우뚝 솟은 용머리재가 이 광경을 가만히 내려다 보고 있었다.



Ha Geun-chan (Oct. 21, 1931~Nov. 25, 2007)

“The Suffering of Two Generations” was the debut work of Ha Geun-chan and it won the Hankook Ilbo Literary Prize in 1957. He wrote largely about the conflict and chaos stemming from poverty, death, physical and mental disabilities, and changing values around the time of Korea’s liberation and the Korean War.