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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

People living with their bodies and people living with their mouths (quote)

Kim Gyuhang is a writer and social commentator, whose blog often has interesting stuff. In a recent post he records a following conversation with a person from "culture circles."
– With whom do you usually spend your time?
– With neighborhood friends.
– Neighborhood friends? – Yes.
– What kind of people are they?
– Just neighborhood people. Company guys, self-employed, their wives, children.
– What do you do together?
– We just have a good time. Go to mountains, ride a bike, have some drinks.
– Do you spend any time with writers or culture people?
– No. – You sound quite firm on that.
– I've been a writer since '98, and I've spent time with those people as well. But hardly any more.
– Is there a special reason?
– They are boring. You know for example "Peacemaking" (평화만들기). – Yes, many intellectuals and artists gather there.
– They are people who say they'll do everything. I went there a couple of times, but the atmosphere was really strange. – So?
– They come together every night and act like they were running the whole country. Activists with an elite consciousness. Really strange atmosphere. - Oh I see.
– Seems there are people living with their bodies and people living with their mouths.
– So your neighborhood friends live with their bodies?
– They are not without their faults but at least they don't live with their mouths.
– What do you talk about together? – Just about life. This and that about life, joking.
– You may say so, but don't you feel intellectual thirst among them?
– I don't think so. Like Jesus said, intellect is being able to express oneself in the most understandable language.
– Do they know who you are? – They mostly know. I wouldn't tell them at first, but it didn't go that way.
– Isn't there any uneasiness for their part? – No, I don't think so. They sometimes tease that I'm dull-witted.
– Don't they often find your talk difficult to understand? – I don't use difficult language. Someone saw a newspaper interview on me and said that Gyuhang doesn't use these kind of difficult words with us. – Oh, that's interesting. – We just laughed about that.
– So do you explain the difficult words for them? – No, we don't talk about theories and principles. Except when some men are too authoritarian towards their wives. – Do you get mad at them? – Mad as hell. – Do they correct their manners? – Little by little. It's because they haven't given a thought about this.
– Anything other? – During the last election we talked a bit about progressives and conservatives.
– Did they understand? – Sure. They are 100 times better than the nightmouths (밤의 주둥아리). – Who are the nightmouths? – Netizens. (Laugh)

김규항씨의 말로 입으로 사는 사람들보다 몸으로 사는 사람을 많이 사귀었기 때문에 공감이 잘 되는 글이다. 근데 내가 아는 "몸으로 산다"고 할 수 있는 동네사람들이 입으로도 상당히 살고 있다. 아니, 동네살이 그 자체가 입으로 살아야 한다고 할 수도 있다. 그리고 내 연구목적인 동네장사가 "말하는 장사"의 원형일 것이다.

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