Visuella vändningar : Bild och estetik i Kerstin Ekmans romankonst
Sammanfattning: This is a dissertation on how an aesthetics of fiction is formulated at the intersection of, and oscillation between, image-construction and image-criticism in three novels by Kerstin Ekman: En stad av ljus (1983), Händelser vid vatten (1993), and Gör mig levande igen (1996). The purpose of the dissertation is to analyze the movement of this oscillation and demonstrate how it is intertwined, not only with the aesthetic practice characterizing these novels, but also with their interpretation of the past and the contemporary. Kerstin Ekman’s oeuvre formulates a criticism of images and their various representational forms (for example paintings, photographs, the images of virtual reality), while integrating different media’s aesthetic expressions by theme and narrative technique. Occasionally, images are represented as deserving credence, as possible to describe in words, but also with a faith in their power to animate or recreate the past, capture the moment and freeze time. But as often as being utilized as tools for creation, images are employed for careful aim of the critique of civilization that characterizes Ekman’s entire body of work.The tension between image-construction and image-criticism is intimately connected to the issues that at their core are bound up with the relation between verbal art and visual art which constitutes a fundamental trait of Ekman’s aesthetic practice. In addition to novels in various genres, Ekman has also worked with film, computer programming and hypertext. The interplay with other media is an important building block of Ekman’s fiction, and the classical opposition between verbal and visual arts is figured foremost through the camera, the film camera, and the computer.The dissertation also examines Ekman’s early fiction, from her debut novel, the detective story 30 meter mord (1959), to Mörker och blåbärsris (1972), and introduces the hypertext Hotagens minne (2006) and the computer game Rymdresa (1991).
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