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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

(Korean family) Celebrity divorce: novelist Hwang Seok-yeong

I thought that I had made a note on the ongoing divorce of the novelist Hwang Seok-yeong (황석영 黃晳暎), but I couldn't find any trace. Just to have it as a case of Korean divorce proceedings, with the additional cultural personality interest (Yonhap piece in Hankyoreh).

Earlier Hwang's legally married but separated wife who resides in the US had filed a suit against Hwang's current live-in partner. The court decision that the live-in relationship is not a problem since Hwang and the woman got together only after the marriage had factually broken down seems to refer to that.
The divorce was filed by Hwang, and the court ruled for divorce, since "life as a married couple, which should be based on love and trust, has been ruptured beyond reparation, and forcing the married life to continue would cause unbearable agony". [Now these are difficult to translate.] The complainant has the fault that he didn't fully appreaciate the anguish of raising the child alone during his prison sentence, and didn't do enough effort to restore the marriage." "The defendant did not help the complainant to adapt himself back to the society after his release from prison, did not care for restoring the marriage and refused to return from the US. [...] The both are equally at fault."

Hwang served a prison term in the 1990s for making an unauthorized visit to North Korea.

Instead of Hwang's picture, I link a picture of a cover of his book Oraedoen chôngwôn [Old garden]; the book originally published as a serial in Hankyoreh, the picture linked from Chosun Ilbo.
The publisher's book note about the novel:
한국 소설문학의 우뚝한 거장으로서 시대와 호흡을 같이해온 작가 황석영의 감동어린 신작장편. 방북사건 이후의 독일 체류와 귀국 후 옥중생활 속에서 구상된 이 작품은 80년대 이후 격동했던 한국사회와 사회주의권의 붕괴를 근간으로 하는 세계사적 변화를 배경으로 젊은 두 남녀의 파란많은 삶과 사랑을 감동적으로 그려낸 역작이다.

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