Lashing: Notes from a Prison Journal


Kim Dong-in is one of early modern Korean literature’s representative writers of “pure” fiction. Kim declared that fiction should create an autonomous world whose value inhered within itself. The short story “Lashing”, in showing conflicts among prisoners under extreme duress in jail, exposes humanity’s selfishness, which forces suffering upon others for the sake of comfort. The first-person narrator pressures an elderly man into acquiescing in receiving a physical punishment that he had wished to appeal. The narrator’s reactions after driving the elderly man to the whipping platform and hearing his screams builds extreme tension and impels readers to reflect on the ugly aspects of human character.

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