I den värld vi drömmer om: utopin i Elin Wägners trettiotalsromaner
Sammanfattning: The aim of this present thesis is to present the Utopian scheme in Elin Wägner’s novels of the nineteen-thirties: Dialogen fortsätter (1932) (“The Dialogue Continues”), Mannen vid min sida (1933) (“The Man by my Side”), Genomskådad (1937) (“Unmasked”) and Hemlighetsfull (1938) (“Mysterious”). With her authorship Wägner was aiming for a new social order, a radical change, polväxling (a shift of poles). That was to be an alternative to the predominant patriarchal system. Elin Wägner used her literary works as a means to inþuence, and therefore an obvious tendency can be found in all her texts. My method is to read the message out of the novels. In the Þrst chapter I introduce the image of the author as a pioneering feminist. Then Þve chapters of analysis follow. In the second chapter the love meeting of the novels is focused: the encounter between woman and man is seen as a relation of power inherent in the patriarchal order. Pierre Bourdieu contributes with the theoretical framework, and his theory of the meeting as a play between actors out of Þxed positions is introduced. The complications of the play are dealt with in the novels, but at the same time a possibility to transgress or transcend them is suggested. This is the goal of emancipation and an underlying trait of the Utopian scheme. This discussion forms the framework of the analysis throughout the rest of the thesis. In the third chapter the literary and ideological climate of the nineteen-thirties is described, and the role of Elin Wägner is focused. The decade is characterised by Primitivism and a notable interest in sexuality, but also by an ideology of functional sexuality and comradeship. These phenomena were mainly discussed in the genre of emancipation, which the new female writers used. At the same time as Wägner’s authorship is paralleled with these conclusive differences are emphasised. The most significant one is that Wägner’s realistic narrative contains mysticism. The decisive moment of insight and inspiration, which emanates from the mysterious symbiotic or passionate unio mystica, is discussed in the fourth chapter. In the Þfth chapter the idea is suggested that the enlightening moment is a spark, which triggers off creativity. This concept is matched with the concept of motherliness, and the idea of samhällsmoderskap (social motherhood) is introduced. The question whether there is a speciÞc female creativity is asked, and the importance of the female tradition is stressed. Wägner’s interpretation of the myth of the archaic mother, the Great Mother, is also dealt with. The theme of motherliness is varied out of an ideological point of view in the sixth chapter. The question whether Elin Wägner, as suggested, should be considered as a radical feminist and an advocate of a woman-sovereign alternative to the patriarchal system or as a defender of a mother-cult is put forward. Finally the Utopian scheme is summed up. In the world Elin Wägner dreamt of the antagonism between woman and man is settled.
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