Vithetens koagulerade hjärta. Om avkoloniserande läsningars möjlighet : The Congealed Heart of Whiteness. On the Possibility of Decolonial Readings

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this dissertation is to read three Swedish-language works of literary fiction from the 20th century in a decolonising way in order to provide insights into what the development of such a reading style entails. With this goal in mind, I make use of theoretical and methodological perspectives taken from decolonial studies, indigenous studies, neomaterialism and critical race- and whiteness studies. The readings of Hjalmar Söderberg’s Doktor Glas (Doctor Glas) (1905), Ludvig Nordström’s Herrar (Masters) (1910) and Karin Boye’s Astarte (1931) show that the decolonising movement in the texts, identified as the re- establishment of a subjective flow of circular reciprocity between different forms of matter, is limited by the spread of whiteness in them. Although the decolonising reading is able to show the non-colonial becomings of the fictional worlds, it is not able to disarm the coloniality in them. Despite this, the dissertation establishes a type of reading that not only shows aspects of the works that have not previously been noted in research but also a possible path for the responsibility of research in relation to the ongoing decolonisation of the world. The congealed heart of whiteness thus proves not only to be a place in fiction that points to the pseudo- ontological emptiness that is established as a constant incentive for the colonial devouring of non-whiteness, but also a place where the heart’s colonial rupture can turn into healing tissue.

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