Hyun Jin-geon

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Hyun Jin-geon
Born(1900-08-09)August 9, 1900
DiedApril 25, 1943(1943-04-25) (aged 42)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationHyeon Jingeon
McCune–ReischauerHyŏn chinkŏn

Hyun Jin-geon (August 9, 1900 – April 25, 1943) (Hangul현진건) was a Korean writer[1]


Hyun Jin-geon was born in Daegu, Korea in 1900 (Two different birth dates are given in the literature, September 2,[2] and August 9[3]). His education was international: He attended Posung High School as well as high school in Tokyo and studied German at Shanghai Hogang University in China.[3]

In China, Hyun and fellow Korean writers Lee Sangwha and Baek Giman published a literary magazine named Geohwa.[3] His first work was published in 1920.

He began his career as a fiction writer with “Huisaenghwa”, published in Genesis (Gaebyeok) in November 1920. The work was not favorably received, but his subsequent works fared much better: he established his reputation as a major realist writer with “My Destitute Wife” (Bincheo) and “The Society that Drives You to Drink” (Sul gwonhaneun sahoe), both of which were published in 1921.

In 1922, with Park Jonghwa, Hong Sayong, Park Yeonghui, and Na Dohyang, Hyun helped found the literary journal White Tide (Baekjo).[3] After six years in fiction he semi-changed careers and began a long career as journalist working for the Chosun Ilbo, Shidae Ilbo, and Dong-a Ilbo.[4] In 1940 he returned to writing, serializing Heukchi Sangji- a novel about a Baekje general who fought against Tang invaders. This was deemed improper by Japanese censors and the work was never completed.[2]

Hyun died on April 25, 1943.


Hyun devoted himself to creating realistic works. Beginning with One Lucky Day (Unsu joeun nal), he spurned the confessional mode of first-person narrative and instead wrote in the third person perspective in his attempt to portray life vividly and without subjectivity. Working in this manner he wrote some of his most popular works: Fire (Bul), Proctor B and Love Letter (B-sagamgwa leobeu leteo), and Hometown (Gohyang). In 1931, he published his final work of fiction, A Ham-Fisted Thief, and moved to writing long historical novels, including Equator (Jeokdo), The Shadowless Pagoda (Muyeong tap), and Heukchi Sangji.

Works in Translation[edit]

Works in Korean[edit]


  • Korea's Faces (1926)
  • The Corrupt (Tarakja)
  • Overnight Fog (Jisaeneun angae)
  • Faces of Joseon (Joseonui eolgol)
  • Selected Stories of Hyeon Jin-geon (Hyeon Jin-geon danpyeonseon)


  • Dangun Pilgrimage (Dangun seongjeok sullye)


  • Equator (Jeokdo)
  • The Shadowless Pagoda (Muyeong tap)
  • Heukchisangji


  1. ^ "Ma Jonggi" LTI Korea Datasheet available at LTI Korea Library or online at: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b Flowers of Fire: Twentieth Century Korean Stories. p. 3
  3. ^ a b c d KLTI: "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-08-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Lee, Kyung-ho (1996). "Ahn, Jung-Hyo". Who's Who in Korean Literature. Seoul: Hollym. p. 158. ISBN 1-56591-066-4.

External links[edit]