Konsten att sätta texter i verket. Gertrude Stein, Arne Sand och litteraturens (o)befintliga specificitet

Sammanfattning: The dissertation has a tripartite subject: Gertrude Stein’s novel A Novel of Thank You (1926), Arne Sand’s Väderkvarnarna (1962), and the specificity of literature before an expanded field of general art production. By reading two no¬vels located within the horizon of modernism, the thesis examines how a critical discourse on the historical and aesthetic conditions of literary practice is put for¬ward through formal strategies that challenge the conventions of the modernist novel. These challenges involve the material limits of the artwork, the intersection between diffe¬rent and seemingly discreet mediums, the conventions of the novel, as well as the distinctions between avant-garde, modernism and neo-avant-garde. Both novels contain a reflection on their historical situatedness that produces an idea, or a promise, of a coming, still unrealized, literature. In the case of Stein, her work demands an extrapolation of the not yet fully realized poetics present in her self-reflective discourse. In the case of Sand, his novel presents itself as a form of resignation before a situation where the modernist tradition and the available lite¬rary conventions seem exhausted or used up. The concluding section of the thesis is an analysis of this coming situation that, in various ways, is implied in A Novel of Thank You and Väderkvarnarna respectively. This inquiry is carried out by superimposing a theo¬retical framework, mainly based in visual art and general aesthetics, on what is sup¬po¬sedly a literary subject matter. The method evolves as a consequence of a broa¬der aim of this dissertation: to conduct an investigation into the various ways in which the sublation of a sys¬tem of separate and mutually exclusive art forms (as a fundamental assumption of formalist modernist aesthetics), into a general, open or “expanded” field of art practice, should or could affect our conception of literature.

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