Jang Jung-il at 13th Annual Korean Literary Concert 'Meet Jang Jong-il'.
478-14 Seongbok-dong, Suji-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Seongseo Middle School where Jang Jung-il studied.
Jang Jung-il in 1980s.
(First published in 1990, this is a sensational and highly...)
First published in 1990, this is a sensational and highly controversial novel by one of Korea's most electrifying contemporary authors. A preposterous coming-of-age story, melding sex, death, and high school in a manner reminiscent of some perverse collision between Georges Bataille and Beverly Cleary, the narrator of this book plows through contemporaneous Korean mores with aplomb, bound for destruction, or maturity – whichever comes first.
Jang Jung-il attended middle school but he dropped out of it. When he was 19 years old he became involved in violent crime and was sent to a juvenile detention center. However, he has read a lot of various books. As a result Jang Jung-il possesses encyclopedic knowledge of poetry, music, drama and culture.
Jang Jung-il started his career in 1984, when four of his poems including “Gangjeong ganda” were published in volume 3 of The World of Language. In 1987, he published his play Interior Drama (Sillaegeuk). Later he published his next book When Adam Opens His Eyes (Adami nuneul tteulttae) which contains stories of many different genres. In 1996, Jang Jung-il published his controversial novel Try Lying to Me (Naegae geojinmareul haeboa), which contains explicit details of sadomasochistic actions and was judged as pornography and Jang was sentenced to six months in prison. He also wrote such books as Do You Believe in Jazz? (Neohiga jaejeureul minneunya?) and I Send Myself To You (Neoaegae nareul bonaenda).
Jang Jung-il often was called a "masochistic terrorist," and a poet who "exposes pretensions of wickedness in society with devilishly puritanical spirit". He is a writer who has a unique writing style and remained true to his own artistic vision and allowed himself to complete freedom.
Jang Jung-il's works explore the disintegration of traditional family structure and the loss of identity which often manifests in sexual perversion. His novels are post-modernist in their playfulness and irreverence. He exposes the destructive evil lying underneath the seemingly wholesome exterior of the society and intentionally stimulates a feeling of discomfort in the readers.