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Litterära besvär : skildringar av sjukdom i samtida svensk prosa

Bernhardsson, Katarina LU (2010)
Abstract
This dissertation studies the theme of illness in Swedish fiction from the first decade of the 21st century. The aim is to present a wide-ranging discussion about illness as a contemporary literary theme. The selection of texts has been confined to a short time-span – a decade – in order to acknowledge that themes of illness are temporally and culturally situated. Seven novels are discussed in depth and related to different contexts. The investigation of the theme of illness is primarily done through exploring the novels in dialogue with other texts – literary as well as historical and theoretical.



Under the heading ‘Illness as Exile’, the sickroom is explored as a chronotope in Mikhail Bakhtin’s sense, and the modern... (More)
This dissertation studies the theme of illness in Swedish fiction from the first decade of the 21st century. The aim is to present a wide-ranging discussion about illness as a contemporary literary theme. The selection of texts has been confined to a short time-span – a decade – in order to acknowledge that themes of illness are temporally and culturally situated. Seven novels are discussed in depth and related to different contexts. The investigation of the theme of illness is primarily done through exploring the novels in dialogue with other texts – literary as well as historical and theoretical.



Under the heading ‘Illness as Exile’, the sickroom is explored as a chronotope in Mikhail Bakhtin’s sense, and the modern and secularised depictions of illness and death are contrasted with the medieval Ars moriendi. The novels discussed are Carl-Henning Wijkmark’s Stundande natten (Impending Darkness, 2007) and Maria Fagerberg’s Svart dam (Queen of Black, 2003). Per Olov Enquist’s novel Boken om Blanche och Marie (2004, translated as The Book about Blanche and Marie 2006) is in ‘The Sick Female Body as a Battlefield’ read both in dialogue with source material about the historical Blanche Wittman and with culture-historical analyses of hysteria, an illness which has been interpreted and historicised to an exceptional degree.



In the chapter ‘Eating Disorder as a Problem of Boundaries’, two novels are studied, Åsa Ericsdotter’s Kräklek (Vomiting Game, 2002) and Sara Mannheimer’s Reglerna (The Rules, 2008). Analytical tools from anthropology, feminism, and psychoanalytical theory are employed in order to explore eating disorders as an expression of boundary problems. Torgny Lindgren’s novel Pölsan (2002, translated as Hash 2004) is discussed in the chapter ‘Contagion as Paradoxical Life-Giver’, which focuses on Lindgren’s way of inverting the duality of immunity and contagion. The novel is read in connection to the myths of tuberculosis and to sanatorium narratives. In ‘Illness as a Fashioning of the Self ’, finally, Anders Paulrud’s Fjärilen i

min hjärna (The Butterfly in My Brain, 2008) is discussed primarily with a focus on the narrator’s specific situation in a fictive novel with a distinct claim to be autobiographical.



The study also presents the field of scholarship referred to as Medical Humanities, focusing in particular on that part which is called Literature and Medicine. In outlining the aims and development of these fields the chapter presents a dynamic and comparatively new scholarly field to a Swedish audience. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor em Mazzarella, Merete, Helsingfors universitet
organization
alternative title
Literary Ills : Portrayals of Illness in Contemporary Swedish Fiction
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Carl-Henning Wijkmark., Anders Paulrud, Sara Mannheimer, Torgny Lindgren, thematic studies, Illness in literature, Literature and Medicine, Medical Humanities, Swedish literature, 21st century literature, Per Olov Enquist, Maria Fagerberg, Åsa Ericsdotter
pages
416 pages
publisher
Ellerströms förlag
defense location
Hörsalen, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2010-11-27 10:15
ISBN
978 91 7247 238 9
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
bf71fbeb-5951-4b5c-b96b-b88827e37ed2 (old id 1699189)
date added to LUP
2010-10-26 15:37:15
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:03
@misc{bf71fbeb-5951-4b5c-b96b-b88827e37ed2,
  abstract     = {This dissertation studies the theme of illness in Swedish fiction from the first decade of the 21st century. The aim is to present a wide-ranging discussion about illness as a contemporary literary theme. The selection of texts has been confined to a short time-span – a decade – in order to acknowledge that themes of illness are temporally and culturally situated. Seven novels are discussed in depth and related to different contexts. The investigation of the theme of illness is primarily done through exploring the novels in dialogue with other texts – literary as well as historical and theoretical.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Under the heading ‘Illness as Exile’, the sickroom is explored as a chronotope in Mikhail Bakhtin’s sense, and the modern and secularised depictions of illness and death are contrasted with the medieval Ars moriendi. The novels discussed are Carl-Henning Wijkmark’s Stundande natten (Impending Darkness, 2007) and Maria Fagerberg’s Svart dam (Queen of Black, 2003). Per Olov Enquist’s novel Boken om Blanche och Marie (2004, translated as The Book about Blanche and Marie 2006) is in ‘The Sick Female Body as a Battlefield’ read both in dialogue with source material about the historical Blanche Wittman and with culture-historical analyses of hysteria, an illness which has been interpreted and historicised to an exceptional degree.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In the chapter ‘Eating Disorder as a Problem of Boundaries’, two novels are studied, Åsa Ericsdotter’s Kräklek (Vomiting Game, 2002) and Sara Mannheimer’s Reglerna (The Rules, 2008). Analytical tools from anthropology, feminism, and psychoanalytical theory are employed in order to explore eating disorders as an expression of boundary problems. Torgny Lindgren’s novel Pölsan (2002, translated as Hash 2004) is discussed in the chapter ‘Contagion as Paradoxical Life-Giver’, which focuses on Lindgren’s way of inverting the duality of immunity and contagion. The novel is read in connection to the myths of tuberculosis and to sanatorium narratives. In ‘Illness as a Fashioning of the Self ’, finally, Anders Paulrud’s Fjärilen i<br/><br>
min hjärna (The Butterfly in My Brain, 2008) is discussed primarily with a focus on the narrator’s specific situation in a fictive novel with a distinct claim to be autobiographical.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The study also presents the field of scholarship referred to as Medical Humanities, focusing in particular on that part which is called Literature and Medicine. In outlining the aims and development of these fields the chapter presents a dynamic and comparatively new scholarly field to a Swedish audience.},
  author       = {Bernhardsson, Katarina},
  isbn         = {978 91 7247 238 9},
  keyword      = {Carl-Henning Wijkmark.,Anders Paulrud,Sara Mannheimer,Torgny Lindgren,thematic studies,Illness in literature,Literature and Medicine,Medical Humanities,Swedish literature,21st century literature,Per Olov Enquist,Maria Fagerberg,Åsa Ericsdotter},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {416},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x851afb0)},
  title        = {Litterära besvär : skildringar av sjukdom i samtida svensk prosa},
  year         = {2010},
}