Volym 138, 2017
Elisabeth Oxfeldt, Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo
“Gebrokken”: Refugees, Trauma, and Poetry in Aasne Linnestå’s Morsmål (2012)
This article offers an analysis of Aasne Linnestå’s long poem Morsmål (Mother Tongue) published in 2012. It is a postfeminist poem about an encounter between a Norwegian woman and a refugee woman arriving from outside Europe. Linnestå’s poetic method in capturing this encounter, I argue, can be understood at the intersection of three verbal strategies: that of trauma, that of postmonolingualism, and that of an écriture féminine, all of which entail a kind of broken language and narrative. A central term in Morsmål is precisely the Norwegian word “gebrokken”, from the German “gebrochen”, meaning broken, and used to describe verbal expressions marked by incorrect grammar and accented speech, especially language as it is spoken by people who have a different mother tongue. In order to further explore this interest in non-fluent linguistic expressions, I draw on E. Ann Kaplan’s theory on how trauma can be represented, on Yasemin Yildiz’ discussion of a postmonolingual paradigm, and above all on Julia Kristeva’s understanding of a poetic, rhythmic language linked to bodily experience.
Johan Alfredsson, Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, University ofGothenburg
Excluded Associations, Violence of Language and Re-ideologisation in Anna Hallberg and Lars Mikael Raattamaa (Uteslutna associationer, Språkvåld och återideologisering hos Anna Hallberg och Lars Mikael Raattamaa)
The purpose of this article is to study what the French linguist Jean-Jacques Lecercle identified as “the remainder of language” in his book The Violence of Language (1990), and how this is put into play in two poetry books from 2008, by the Swedish poets Anna Hallberg and Lars Mikael Raattamaa. By explicitly challenging a large number of conventions of language, typography, and poetry, these books raise critical issues on how the language system works. These issues specifically concern what parts and aspects of language are allowed into the linguistic system, and what parts and aspects are kept out. These regulatory mechanisms are demonstrated, and scrutinised, in these books — making them meta-critical, as well as ideology-critical. This scrutiny not only shows the relevance of identifying and understanding the mechanisms of exclusion that Lecercle identified among academic linguistics 25 years ago. It also brings them into contemporary society, where they – due to globalisation and technological development — have disseminated, and become part of almost everyone’s daily experience. The results of the article stress how this dissemination increases the societal relevance of the kind of scrutiny undertaken by Hallberg and Raattamaa, and how it can assist in re-ideologising language.
Anna Möller-Sibelius, Åbo Akademi University
All by herself or inseparable part of culture? Self-presentation and idealism in Kerstin Söderholm’s diary (Endast med sig själv eller ett med sin kultur? Självframställning och idealism i Kerstin Söderholms dagbok)
The aim of this study is to examine the construction of idealistic ideas in the posthumous diary of the Finland-Swedish modernist poet Kerstin Söderholm, All by myself (Endast med mig själv 1947–1948). In this autobiographical genre associated with women writers and intimacy in particular, Söderholm explores personal themes from the position of an outsider. However, she reveals her bonds to a specific cultural context in describing her physical and mental fragility, her identification with a degenerate upper class and her suicidal thoughts. This holds also for the complications in her erotic relationships and her reflections on creativity. She expresses ideas from the turn of the 20th century and idealistic premises quite common in the interwar period. Consequently, her thoughts are not emerging (only) from her “soul” or “inner being” — as the psychological perspective in her diary and its paratexts suggests — but from external references such as Nietzscheism, mysticism, and an idealistic tradition in general. In her diary, Söderholm is able to express herself as a woman writer in an “egoistic” manner and contribute to the cultural debate on different topics on equal terms with male authorities. In this respect, the genre has a liberating effect on her creativity. On the other hand, her subordination to patriarchal ideas is striking. Söderholm’s self-presentation raises fundamental questions about individual freedom and contextuality.
Sten Brandorf, former lecturer at Halmstad University
The other’s gaze: A motif study in the authorship of Hjalmar Bergman (Den andres blick. En motivstudie i Hjalmar Bergmans författarskap)
The other’s gaze is a recurring motif in the authorship of Hjalmar Bergman. The aim of this article is to study the function of the motif in the selected works regarding plot and theme. In novels such as Loewenhistorier and Chefen fru Ingeborg the motif has an anticipatory function. Furthermore, the motif is related to fate, which is an overarching theme in a series of novels. In Markurells i Wadköping the other’s gaze works as an increasing element of the theme’s dramatic development. In Jonas och Helen the motif is of crucial importance to the novel’s love intrigue. The ugly girl exposed to the other’s gaze is a guiding principle in Lotten Brenners ferier. The motif also contributes to the characterization of the protagonists of the novels. What primarily characterizes the motif ’s function is its emotional charge, which effectively contributes to the dynamics of the intrigue.
Sam Holmqvist, Gender Studies, School of Culture and Education, Södertörn University
A Swedish French Novel: Foreignness and Swedishness in Aurora Ljungstedt’s Jernringen (En svensk fransk roman. Främlingskap och svenskhet i Aurora Ljungstedts Jernringen)
This article discusses the construction of Swedish identity in Aurora Ljungstedt’s adventure novel Jernringen (“The Iron Ring”, 1871). Ljungstedt very seldom commented on her own work, but she has made two separate statements about Jernringen. On the occasion of its second publication, the anonymous “Author” criticized readers of having misinterpreted the novel’s morals. A few years later, Ljungstedt (now no longer anonymous) was more cautious, now claiming to be herself critical of the novel and explicitly calling it too “French” for Swedish minds. Ljungstedt was right in appointing Jernringen as her work most influenced by French novels. Paradoxically, it is the same work that most clearly points out what Ljungstedt considered to be Swedish. Main character Juanna is a common stereotype, a dark and ardent femme fatale. Throughout her life she is unable to live up to the expectations of being Swedish and particularly being a Swedish woman. Although Juanna strives to become a better person, those attempts seem doomed to failure. This is explicitly attributed to a mysterious family curse, but between the lines it is clearly credited to her black hair, brown eyes and passionate self. Juanna’s most striking feature is her ability to change her appearance, her ability to pass as whatever she chooses. In the same time, she is unable to pass as what she supposedly “is”: a Swedish woman. The reader of Jernringen continually seeks to understand the hidden truth of Juanna’s self, but eventually learns that the truth is that there is no truth. Juanna’s true self is absence of being Swedish, and absence of a true self. Thus, the novel creates a perception of Swedishness as authenticity and stability.
Marcus Willén Ode, Department of Literature, Uppsala University
Leopold and the Odel family: Two unknown poems (Leopold och familjen Odel. Två okändadikter)
Two previously unknown poems by Carl Gustaf af Leopold (1756–1829), author, official, private secretary to Gustav III and member of the Swedish Academy, were recently discovered in a copy of Carl Gustaf Leopolds samlade skrifter (1800–1833). The two texts, written in the years 1800–1802 and 1801–1803, are dedication poems in honor of Brita Christina Odel (1738/39–1802) and her daughter, Maria Virginia Westberg (1759–1803). The findings will complete and contribute to the ongoing publication of the collected works of Leopold.