Ulla Isakssons romankonst
Sammanfattning: Five representative, and essentially dissimilar, novels by Ulla Isaksson are analysed in this book: the Christian novel Ytterst i havet (1950); the love story De två saliga ("The Blessed Ones" 1962); two novels dealing with feminine problems, Kvinnohuset (1952) and FödelseDagen (1988); and the historical novel Dit du icke vill (1956). The final chapter, on Dit du icke vill , also looks at the Christian theme as well as the theme of love and women. The fundamental concern of Ytterst i havet is the impossibility of escaping from an omnipresent God. Here, the interpretation draws on Lars Ahlin's programme for authors and on Olov Hartman's theology, which stresses the presence of God in the pit of humanity. De två saliga is an extraordinary novel which erases the borderline between sick and healthy love. Erik Hjalmar Linder's biography of Hjalmar Bergman, which features the great writer's relationship with Stina Bergman, forms an essential intertext; but texts by Swedenborg and Strindberg are made to elucidate Ulla Isaksson's novel, too. Kvinnohuset and FödelseDagen are the author's idiosyncratic contributions to a feminine tradition in fiction. A comparison between the two works affords insights into the development of a female literary tradition in Sweden at the relevant time; but the discussion also looks back to Elin Wägner, Selma Lagerlöf, and Hjalmar Bergman. In both these novels, the anger of women forms an important theme. Dit du icke vill is based on the witch-trials of the 17th century. The main distinctions between Isaksson's book and Eyvind Johnson's "witch novel" Drömmar om rosor och eld (1949) are found in the former's character of a Christian novel and a woman's novel. With its tangible feminine dimension, the image of God presented in Dit du icke vill must be said to be original in its period. The Christian content of the book is patently Lutheran in character, and it addresses the doctrine of the Law and the Gospel. The dissertation aims to emphasise the many-sidedness of Ulla Isaksson's oeuvre. It has a thematic design; but it also contains narratological discussions and deals with a fairly large number of intertexts.
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