Volym 141, 2020
Beatrice M.G. Reed, Department of Language and Literature, Volda University College
Civilization in the wilderness: On Stina Aronson’s critical dialogue with the literary sanatorium tradition in Sång till polstjärnan [Song to the North Star] (1948) (Sivilisasjonen i ødemarken. Om Stina Aronsons kritiske dialog med den litterære sanatoriumstradisjonen i Sång till Polstjärnan )
The article argues that Swedish author Stina Aronson renews the sanatorium as a critical literary topos in her short story collection Sång till polstjärnan [Song to the North Star] (1948). By reading two of Aronson’s texts in light of Knut Hamsun’s Siste kapittel [The Last Chapter] (1923), Thomas Mann’s Der Zauberberg [The Magic Mountain] (1924) and Sven Stolpes’s I dödens väntrum [In the waiting room of death] (1930), it shows that Aronson related critically to central ideological and aesthetic tendencies of her time, especially to the primitivism of the interwar period, and the post-war pessimism of the 1940s. In light of the text being situated in a northern landscape, far from the urban centers in the south, the article seeks to illuminate how Aronson enriches the literary sanatorium tradition by introducing a new geographical environment, in which alternative forms of cultural belonging, class and gender identity are reflected in the tradition of sanatorium literature.
Rikard Wingård, Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, University of Gothenburg
Entomological gamble in Georg Stiernhielm’s ‘Emblema Authoris’ (Entomologiskt risktagande i Georg Stiernhielms “Emblema Authoris”)
This article is a follow-up of an earlier investigation into the poetic treatment of creatures of low esteem in Swedish poetry during the 17th century. The materiality of such animals — found e.g. among reptiles, amphibians, and insects – that was initially proclaimed by Aristotle and put into ‘the great chain of being,’ posited these creatures in connection with immorality, sin, and chaos. As such, they were hard to fit with classicistic aesthetics, but all the more potent for baroque expressions. In Swedish literature, Georg Stiernhielm’s sonnet “Emblema Authoris” (1644) stands out as one of the few examples from the century that solely and seriously attends to one of these animals, and tries to put it in a favorable light: the silkworm. Although it is one of the more highly appreciated species of insects, a closer examination shows that depicting the silkworm, rather than its more perfected imago, the silk moth, was not without risk. The analysis shows how Stiernhielm uses several poetic strategies to contain or disarm the troublesome materiality of the worm in order keep his authority and avoid being associated with the negative aspects of the animal. A look at the ‘baroque power’ of these beings might also explain why Stiernhielm did not choose to make the spider his emblem, a creature he in other instances held in even greater regard. The spider in general stood much lower than the silkworm on the stepladder to heaven and would be especially dangerous for Stiernhielm to exploit publicly, as it was often used as a symbol contrary to his scientific ambitions. Hence the choice of the silkworm, which represented a lower risk of being compromised. The analysis, finally, is able to shed new light on the inspirational emblem for “Emblema Authoris,” identifying it as originating from Emblemata of zinne-werck (1624) by Johan de Brune.
Anna Nygren, Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion, University of Gothenburg
A Special Place in the Heart: A Study of Girl-Horse Relationships in Lena Furberg’s Stallgänget på Tuva (Men i hjärtat fanns ingen annan. En studie om relationen mellan häst och flicka i Lena Furbergs Stallgänget på Tuva)
Stallgänget på Tuva is a cartoon series by Lena Furberg published in Min Häst between 1996 and 2008. Min Häst is a magazine whose main target group is girls interested in horses. The cartoon and the magazine are part of a specific literary genre and a broader culture of girl-horse relations. Furberg’s cartoon could be seen, on the one hand, as a good example of fictional horse stories, and, on the other hand, as a cartoon that has influenced the genre, and its readers. My purpose is to analyse the relation between girl and horse in Stallgänget på Tuva. Using theories from the field of Human-Animal Studies, I discuss different aspects of the relationship and the portrayal of it, such as the realistic contra the romantic view of the relationship, and the complex question of responsibility and power in the relation between human and non-human. For a long time, the genre of fictional horse stories had quite a low status in literary and academic context. More recent studies have enhanced its value and reputation. My analysis shows that Stallgänget på Tuva opens up for ideological as well as existential questions. Several episodes in the cartoon have a radical political potential, showing how girls in their relationship with horses protest against for example patriarchal and capitalist structures. At the same time, the relationship is established on the girls’ premises. What this article shows is the complexity of the girl-horse relationship, the political potential it may have and the power structures it may both reproduce and reveal.
Marie Öhman, School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University
Plastic Bags, Grass and Other Agents in Karl Ove Knausgård’s Season Quartet (Påsar, gräs och andra aktörer i Karl Ove Knausgårds årstidskvartett)
The aim of the article is to point out an ecocritical dimension in Karl Ove Knausgård’s writings. Knausgård is generally associated with an autobiographical tradition, dealing with questions about authenticity, truth, and the human subject. In his encyclopedia on the four seasons Om hösten (2016), Om vintern (2016), Om våren (2017), and Om sommaren (2017), however, Knausgård directs his attention to the material side of life. By thoroughly scrutinising the human body, material objects, and nature, he brings to light the role of inhuman forces within the human, the self-organizing powers of things, and the agential capacity of natural phenomena. The article relates this focus on, and ascribing of new qualities to, materiality to new materialist theories that question dualistic thinking and anthropocentrism.
Camilla Brudin Borg, Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, University of Gothenburg
Without Thoughts of One’s Own: Walking and Creativity in Two Novels by Anders Paulrud (Utan egna tankar. Vandring och kreativitet i två romaner av Anders Paulrud)
This article studies how walking on the pilgrim’s way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain creates meaning in the narrative of two novels by the Swedish author Anders Paulrud: Inbjudan till sorg (2000) [Invitation to Grief ] and Kärleken till Sofia Karlsson (2005) [The Love of Sofia Karlsson]. The aim is to highlight the complexity of meaning production and creativity vis-àvis materiality that results from the use of the metaphorical images of walking and being lost. The interpretation draws on perspectives from material ecocriticism, cultural ecology and cognitive psychology and is carried out through metaphor analyses and close reading of the walking-narratives. The history of walking in literature contextualizes and deepens the interpretation and brings to the fore several examples of historical narratives that also use walking as a motif and narrative structure. It is shown how the novels create an intertextual dialogue with Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Dante Alighieri and the Christian allegorical tradition. Paulrud’s novels are viewed as using the complex and deeply metaphorical image of walking to process all-embracing subjects such as abandonment, love, and a sense of being lost in a postmodern, late-capitalist era, as well as creativity and a sense of being a subject deeply enmeshed in materiality.
Jørgen Bruhn, Linnaeus Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies, Linnaeus University
Intermedial Ecocriticism: Comparing Representations of the Ecological Crisis across Media (Intermedial økokritik. Repræsentationer af økokrisen i forskellige medier)
This article argues that major insights from intermedial studies and ecocriticism could be combined in order to produce a productive theoretical and methodological position called Intermedial Ecocriticism. Intermedial Ecocriticism is built upon the simple observation that the production of scientific knowledge concerning the critical ecological condition in the Anthropocene reaches the laymen public by way of non-scientific texts in a number of different media types. This corpus — called ecomedia products — covers everything from popular scientific journalism, museum exhibitions or educational material, to literary climate fiction, visual art projects and documentary film or poetry. The main goal of Intermedial Ecocriticism is to be able to analyze, interpret and compare samples from this extensive and heterogeneous corpus of texts, thus going far beyond the tradition of ecocriticism to focus only on literary and other artistic texts. Thus, the position is meant to offer a humanities contribution to better understand and act upon the pending ecological crisis.
The first part of the article offers a general outline of theory and method of Intermedial Ecocriticism, whereas the second part exemplifies one particular concretization of the position. A videoanimation by Danish artist Per Arnoldi and two contemporary cli-fi novels by Mats Söderlund and Hanna Rut Carlsson are briefly analyzed and compared. The analysis focuses on the questions of narrativity and the representation of the possibility of human agency in the three ecomedia products.