Som en byracka : självbiografi, estetik och politik i Agneta Klingspors författarskap
Sammanfattning: The study deals with Agneta Klingspor’s autobiographical writings from the 1970s until today. Agneta Klingspor made her debut as an author in 1977 with the diary Inte skära bara rispa. Kvinnodagbok 1962–76 (No Cutting Only Scratching. A Woman’s Diary 1962–76). Since then she has written several novels and collections of poetry and short stories. The majority of Klingspor’s texts represent a struggle for the word, both literally and metaphorically. The aim of this study is to investigate that struggle in Agneta Klingspor’s writings on two levels: the autobiographical and the aesthetic.The dissertation is divided into four main parts. Part I reviews relevant research on literary autobiography and takes up a general discussion of referential claims in autobiographical writing, introducing Leigh Gilmore’s theory about the process of authorization, through which autobiographical writings lay claim to the right to speak, and applying it to the genderized process of authorization manifesting itself in Klingspor’s texts. Part I concludes with a sketch of the historical context surrounding Klingspor’s literary debut: the era of women’s politics of the 1970s.Part II deals with the autobiographical themes in Agneta Klingspor’s writings and with their change over time, particularly with the ways in which Klingspor uses, tests and problematizes her autobiographical narration and with how she positions herself in relation to her time and to her own texts in order to achieve authority.Part III describes the struggle for the word in Klingspor’s writings, which occurs both on an aesthetic and on a meta-literary level. The grotesque aesthetics used by Klingspor is analysed as a type of tit for tat: a feminist strategy utilized in order to block a facile understanding of her as a confessor and a woman in the literary field.Part IV juxtaposes the autobiographical and aesthetic levels in a discussion of the political position Klingspor developed in her writings – a stance which is here characterized as the “mongrel’s position”. Klingspor finds many ways of adopting this position. She plays the part of an orphan and outcast in her own life story. She develops an aesthetic attitude associated with the mongrel – she is sniffing out disreputable subject matters linked to body, gender and sexuality. Also, she takes up the position of the mongrel in the literary field, disconnecting herself from the prestigious role of an author and insisting on being a stray dog. The dissertation concludes with an analysis contrasting Klingspor’s representations with the portraits of the mothers in the recent writings of Kerstin Thorvall and Kerstin Bergström – two other well-known authors in the so-called female confessional genre of the 1970s.
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