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Från alpromantik till hembygdsromantik. Natursynen i Sverige från 1885 till 1915, speglad i Svenska Turistföreningens årsskrifter och Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige

Hammargren, Erik LU (2006)
Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation is to analyse the changing views of nature from 1885 to 1915 as Sweden experienced possibly the greatest transformation in its history. An examination of the Swedish Touring Club's Annual Review serves to illustrate these changes. These reviews have under the slogan 'Know Your Country', been published since 1886. A parallel comparison can be traced through interpretations of Selma Lagerlöf´s classic tale, Nils Holgerson's Wonderful Journey through Sweden, that was first published in 1906. Clearly Lagerlöf found inspiration and material from the annual reviews for her story. Furthermore, she later released her story of the 'forgotten' county of Halland ,'En historia från Halland', in the annual review in... (More)
The purpose of this dissertation is to analyse the changing views of nature from 1885 to 1915 as Sweden experienced possibly the greatest transformation in its history. An examination of the Swedish Touring Club's Annual Review serves to illustrate these changes. These reviews have under the slogan 'Know Your Country', been published since 1886. A parallel comparison can be traced through interpretations of Selma Lagerlöf´s classic tale, Nils Holgerson's Wonderful Journey through Sweden, that was first published in 1906. Clearly Lagerlöf found inspiration and material from the annual reviews for her story. Furthermore, she later released her story of the 'forgotten' county of Halland ,'En historia från Halland', in the annual review in 1910. The text and pictures in these works have been analysed primarily through an application of British geographer Jay Appleton's Habitat Theory - a lesser-known theory in Sweden.



In the years surrounding the turn of the century in 1900, the nature depiction of Norrland followed an Alp Romantic pattern that also advocated the exploitation of natural resources - a foundation for what came to be known as 'the Land of the Future'. To legitimise this, an anthropocentric view of nature was required to create a nationalistic spirit and pathos of colonial entrepreneurship.



At the dawn of the 1900´s, a shift occurred in the portrayal of nature in the annual reviews. Increasing focus was laid on the patriotic attributes of the homeland ideal. A delicate question was the treatment of the Laplanders - who were often viewed through Social Darwinist eyes as a doomed race.



The sweeping descriptions employed in the Alp Romanic style are not evident in Lagerlöf´s Nils Holgersson's Wonderful Journey through Sweden. Nature is rendered in a low-keyed manner with emphasis in the refuge perspective, habitation and survival. Here, the patriotic function of nature became connected to the refuge values of the forest sanctuary. Depictions of the Laplanders were not overtly racist - but not entirely truthful either ? they were simply adjusted to assimilate into the emerging national self-image. However, a more obvious racism is found in Lagerlöf´s 'En historia från Halland'.



There are reasons to question interpretations of Nils Holgersson as an argument solely in support of industrialisation. The central aspects of this dichotomy lie in the sections involving the story of the bear and the ironworks, the Tåkern story and Akka´s reflections concerning Mankind's constant threat against the animal kingdom.



When the stories in the annual reviews are read in the light of the Akka perspective - which equates Man and nature - a clearer philosophical differential reveals itself. The Akka perspective becomes a counterpoint to a mythological romanticism where nature, land, folk and their future are built on a belief that man dominates nature. In this mythological matrix exists an inherent paradox - a tension between nature's beauty and its exploitation. Principally, the annual reviews were a mechanism to obfuscate this paradox and to support the construction of the idealised Land of the Future - while the Akka perspective in Nils Holgersson was a message maintaining nature's right to exist. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Fil. dr. Sandgren, Håkan, Högskolan Kristianstad
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Scandinavian languages and literature, habitatteorin, Jay Appleton, Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige, Selma Lagerlöf, Natursyn, Svenska Turistföreningens årsskrifter, Nordiska språk (språk och litteratur)
pages
475 pages
publisher
Gidlunds förlag
defense location
Hörsalen, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2006-12-16 10:15
ISBN
91-7844-725-9
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
abc358ec-9dba-462f-9248-e21f5e62da7e (old id 25587)
date added to LUP
2007-06-05 09:04:04
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:12
@misc{abc358ec-9dba-462f-9248-e21f5e62da7e,
  abstract     = {The purpose of this dissertation is to analyse the changing views of nature from 1885 to 1915 as Sweden experienced possibly the greatest transformation in its history. An examination of the Swedish Touring Club's Annual Review serves to illustrate these changes. These reviews have under the slogan 'Know Your Country', been published since 1886. A parallel comparison can be traced through interpretations of Selma Lagerlöf´s classic tale, Nils Holgerson's Wonderful Journey through Sweden, that was first published in 1906. Clearly Lagerlöf found inspiration and material from the annual reviews for her story. Furthermore, she later released her story of the 'forgotten' county of Halland ,'En historia från Halland', in the annual review in 1910. The text and pictures in these works have been analysed primarily through an application of British geographer Jay Appleton's Habitat Theory - a lesser-known theory in Sweden.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In the years surrounding the turn of the century in 1900, the nature depiction of Norrland followed an Alp Romantic pattern that also advocated the exploitation of natural resources - a foundation for what came to be known as 'the Land of the Future'. To legitimise this, an anthropocentric view of nature was required to create a nationalistic spirit and pathos of colonial entrepreneurship.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
At the dawn of the 1900´s, a shift occurred in the portrayal of nature in the annual reviews. Increasing focus was laid on the patriotic attributes of the homeland ideal. A delicate question was the treatment of the Laplanders - who were often viewed through Social Darwinist eyes as a doomed race.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The sweeping descriptions employed in the Alp Romanic style are not evident in Lagerlöf´s Nils Holgersson's Wonderful Journey through Sweden. Nature is rendered in a low-keyed manner with emphasis in the refuge perspective, habitation and survival. Here, the patriotic function of nature became connected to the refuge values of the forest sanctuary. Depictions of the Laplanders were not overtly racist - but not entirely truthful either ? they were simply adjusted to assimilate into the emerging national self-image. However, a more obvious racism is found in Lagerlöf´s 'En historia från Halland'.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
There are reasons to question interpretations of Nils Holgersson as an argument solely in support of industrialisation. The central aspects of this dichotomy lie in the sections involving the story of the bear and the ironworks, the Tåkern story and Akka´s reflections concerning Mankind's constant threat against the animal kingdom.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
When the stories in the annual reviews are read in the light of the Akka perspective - which equates Man and nature - a clearer philosophical differential reveals itself. The Akka perspective becomes a counterpoint to a mythological romanticism where nature, land, folk and their future are built on a belief that man dominates nature. In this mythological matrix exists an inherent paradox - a tension between nature's beauty and its exploitation. Principally, the annual reviews were a mechanism to obfuscate this paradox and to support the construction of the idealised Land of the Future - while the Akka perspective in Nils Holgersson was a message maintaining nature's right to exist.},
  author       = {Hammargren, Erik},
  isbn         = {91-7844-725-9},
  keyword      = {Scandinavian languages and literature,habitatteorin,Jay Appleton,Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige,Selma Lagerlöf,Natursyn,Svenska Turistföreningens årsskrifter,Nordiska språk (språk och litteratur)},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {475},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x6a3b270)},
  title        = {Från alpromantik till hembygdsromantik. Natursynen i Sverige från 1885 till 1915, speglad i Svenska Turistföreningens årsskrifter och Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige},
  year         = {2006},
}