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"Jag är baserad på verkliga personer": Ironi och röstgivande i Kristina Lugns författarskap
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

”I am based on real people,” Kristina Lugn writes in the foreword to her play Nattorienterarna (1999). This quotation summarises the ever-changing concept of the ego which finds expression in Lugn’s writing and which is the focus of this study. Special emphasis is placed on the way in which Lugn tackles the concept of the ego in both her work and her appearances in the media, and also how in recent years she has taken to greater depths this playing with the ego’s changing forms and has, in an ironic way, created different egos which are constant in neither time nor space. The thesis is in part a text analysis of Lugn’s lyrics and drama and in part an examination of Lugn’s appearances in the media – and, in the case of the latter, it touches on intermedial aspects.

The analysis discusses how Lugn expresses in different ways in her appearances in the media pathos for groups seen as potentially isolated and vulnerable, of which children constitute a particularly charged category. One argument in this reasoning is that Lugn’s constant nods at and incorporating of the exposed and solitary child’s experience of society’s norms and power order structures is a basis and a reason for the explosive power in her ironic delivery of a critique of power, in her questioning and shaking up of the ordered roles of gender.

The purpose of the thesis is to examine the irony and what can be characterised as “the giving of voice” in Kristina Lugn’s literary production, and also how these devices hang together. One chief question is whether it can be viewed that Lugn’s irony is used both as a means of style and as a (literary) political strategy.

The concept of the giving of voice is used to illustrate the way in which Lugn as author and role player allows her personae and characters to speak, often in situations of her devising where they are, and feel they are, powerless in different senses, even though she has inevitably, in her capacity as author, the power to edit and dictate.

A secondary aim is to present a more nuanced and in-depth picture of Lugn’s writing than that done so far in the reception given Lugn in the media. The study focuses attention on Lugn’s ironic stage-setting of ego positions and the constant playing with fiction and reality which characterises her writing. This is in contrast to the early reception of Lugn as a depressive confessional lyricist, where the fictitious personae were very much likened to the biographical figure of Lugn. Part of this revisionist picture includes a discussion about how central the position of the child is in both Lugn’s work and her appearances in the media.

Irony and the giving of voice in her writing is discussed and illustrated with examples from a selection of Lugn’s literary works. Focus is placed on the poetry collections Om ni hör ett skott… (1979), Percy Wennerfors (1982) and Hundstunden. Kvinnlig bekännelselyrik (1989),  and also on the theatre scripts Tant Blomma (1993), Idlaflickorna (1993), Nattorienterarna (1999) and Stulna juveler (2000). The selection of the material in the media consists of TV and radio programmes in public service broadcasting and also daily newspapers, evening papers and weekly magazines. An examination of this material is made on the basis of three points in time: that of Lugn’s literary breakthrough as a lyricist; i.e. 1983 and the period around then, the 1990s in connection with Lugn’s transition from primarily that of lyricist to that of dramatist, and the period around the turn of the millennium in connection with the première performance of the play Stulna juveler.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Bokförlaget h:ström – Text & Kultur , 2010. , 314 p.
Keyword [en]
Kristina Lugn, irony, role playing, talking back, gender, the position of the child, the mass media writer, media images, Swedish poetry, post-modernism, fiction and reality
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-35450ISBN: 978-91-7327-124-0OAI: diva2:344337
Public defence
2010-09-11, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-08-20 Created: 2010-08-18 Last updated: 2010-08-20Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Ann-Helén
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