The plotline of Hyun Kyung-jun’s “The Drifters” (1940) portrays a state-regulated Manchurian village where opium addicts and smugglers are “rehabilitated” under the watchful guidance of the village training center. One of the occupants of the village is Myeong-u, an artist who became a drug addict from the pain of losing his lover. The director of the training center tries to lead Myeong-u onto the path of redemption with the belief that a piece of his conscience still remains intact. In addition to receiving care from the director, Myeong-u comes to slowly regain his humanity by falling in love with Sunnyeo, an innocent young woman who also resides in the village. Despite its melodramatic storyline, the fictional work can be traced back to the travel writing that the author published in 1939 after visiting a training center called Daeisugu in Manchuria, and the preface of “The Drifters” identifies it as a work in the genre of reportage literature with its emphasis upon providing journalistic depictions of actually observed events.
|Publisher||Literature Translation Institute of Korea|
|Number of pages||54|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|