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I oss är en mångfald levande: Karin Boye som kritiker och prosamodernist
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen.
1986 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Within us a multiplicity is living : Karin Boye as a critic and a modernist novel writer (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to describe Karin Boye as a critic and a modernist novel writer. The material consists of Karin Boye's works, articles from newspapers and periodicals and secondary sources. The method applied is a critical investigation of basic hermeneutic principles with special reference to sexual/textual politics.

The introductory survey of the development of critical methods in the Swedish literary institution from 1925 to 1935 shows the total domination of traditional hermeneutic methods based on an idealistic conception of man and on aesthetic norms and ideological presumptions inherited from the 19th century novel. The reception of Karin Boyes novels 1931—1934 shows to what extent patriarchal ideology also informed the critical terms. In later research on Karin Boye the interpretation of her early novels has never been questioned. Nor has her position as an introducer of the new modernist aesthetics as an editor of the avantgarde journal Spektrum or as a critic in the left wing press been regarded as a factor to take into account.

In Spektrum Karin Boye formulates a radical program which combines the new aesthetics with the social situation of the time as well as with psychoanalytic theory. Karin Boye's awareness that the medium — language — was part of the modern writer's dilemma led her to explore new methods of representation. Like other modernists Karin Boye shows a desire for inclusive - ness. She looks for literary forms that can bring together the full complexity of modern experience in a meaningful way. Karin Boye stresses that the shift from traditional literary conventions to a new way of representation demands of the reader a far more active participation in understanding the work of art.

In her novels Astarte, Merit vaknar and Kris Karin Boye develops her ideas of poetic language, which could have an emancipatory function in the life of modern man. She uses an experimental method to criticize the rationalism of the Platonic tradition. Karin Boyes way of organizing the text involves irony, the use of analogy and the mythical method. She also lets the novels draw attention to themselves as works of art, emphasizing that they are subject to the techniques of presentation the novelist adopts. A matter of special inquiry is the connection between women's liberation and the female writer's use of images, symbols and myths. The works of Karin Boye show an interesting relationship between feminism and modernism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå :: Umeå universitet , 1986. , 321 p.
Umeå studies in the humanities, ISSN 0345-0155 ; 77
Keyword [en]
Karin Boye, Sweden in the 1930's, literary criticism, modernism, feminism
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66611ISBN: 91-7174-263-8OAI: diva2:608927
Public defence
1986-12-11, Humanisthuset, hörsal G, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-02-26 Last updated: 2013-03-01Bibliographically approved

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