Love delivers an everlasting value beyond time and space, presenting a lifetime chance to reflect on one’s existence by pondering on its philosophy.
Jun Chung-lim (Cermamic Arts, 4), the winner of the 9th Ewha Geulbit Literary Award, has successfully conveyed the philosophical value of love in her novel called The Lover’s Scenario.
The Ewha Geulbit Literary Award, co-hosted by Ewha Womans University Press and the Ewha Weekly, is originally designed to give a boost to the literary world and encourage Ewha’s future novelists. The Lover’s Scenario entails Jun’s philosophical insight into love and identity, and shows that love can deliver every part of the society in the form of a novel, according to the judge of the award.
Jun delivered an appreciation message to all who congratulated her. “I was really thankful to be nominated, and it was very fruitful to see that my hard work paid off,” Jun said.
One distinctive characteristic of Jun is that she double-majored in ceramic arts and philosophy. Before taking philosophy classes at Ewha, she was not a big fan of reading or writing. However, philosophy boosted Jun’s passion toward reading which led her to be interested in writing as well.
Before deciding to double-major in philosophy, Jun thought her ceramic works were too simple to deliver the true meaning of life to the public. When she pondered on works that could convey deeper values through its shape and form, philosophy came to her.
“I once registered in a class that I did not want to take,” Jun said. “During the course modification period, I dropped that course and looked for another class to fit in that time period. And I saw one philosophy major class that was still open to students and I registered without much thought, and it turned out to be very interesting and even led me to double-major in philosophy.”
When Jun found out her deep interest in philosophy, Steve Jobs’ speech about “connecting the dots” in 2005 at Stanford University came across Jun’s mind. Jobs told that something that was done without much thought has eventually brought important changes toward his life.
Jun’s novel, The Lover’s Scenario, is about the love story between an ordinary man and woman that incorporates aspects of Jun’s own learning.
“I wanted to explain love using theories in various fields such as philosophy and economics,” Jun said. For instance, while the male character is shaving, Occam’s razor theory comes across his mind which helps him to decide what he should do. Occam’s razor is the principle of parsimony in which fewer assumptions are better for solving problems.
Jun’s inspiration for writing is very diverse from everyday lives to philosophical theories.
“Thanks to the books that I have been reading, I do not have to wait for inspiration to come to me,” Jun said.
Not only Jun’s knowledge, but also her own life experiences are also projected throughout the story. The relationship with her boyfriend influenced the novel, as what he said to her was directly quoted in the work itself.
“Once my boyfriend said, ‘you are like a magic castle.’” Jun said. “He meant that even though the castle may look splendid from outside, there are too many rooms to open when he actually entered the place. Even after opening every single one of them, the castle still remains mysterious and he eventually got trapped inside the castle which means he falls in love with her much deeper than before,” Jun said.
A scene in which characters visit Paris reflects Jun’s wish to visit Paris.
“Because I really want to go to Paris, I put a scene in which characters visit Paris,” said Jun. “I referred to several pictures of Paris to precisely describe the scene. So there might be some mistakes with that scene when readers read the novel soon.”
Although Jun writes down what pops up in her mind right away, she confessed that writing has always been an arduous task for her.
“Writing cannot always be exciting,” Jun said. “Whenever I have a hard time with writing, I choose to read books and look at people passing by on the street as each of them has different and distinct characteristics.”
Winning the 9th Ewha Geulbit Literary Award became an opportunity to ponder on her future. Before winning the award, Jun was unsure if she is going to study deeper in her field, ceramic arts. She wanted to go to a graduate school, but she faced opposition from her parents.
“However, the award has given me a conviction to study deeper in esthetics and I also want to write various kinds of pieces in the future including a thesis and critique,” Jun said.
Jun added a final word to Ewha students, recommending a poem by Hermann Hesse.
“President Kim Sun-uk once recommended this poem to me - it was about challenging myself even if the decision was made on impulse,” Jun said. “I think courage is a very important value that one should bear as a university student.”