Tradition och originalitet hos Gunnar Ekelöf
Sammanfattning: The aim of the dissertation is to discuss Gunnar Ekelöf's ways of approaching tradition, his resulting siding with the values of originality, and in what manner these related issues determine the development of his oeuvre. As a point of departure for this consideration, his unsettled identity as a Modernist poet is examined, as representing a strain in Modernism that manifests an ongoing transformative interrelationship with Romanticism and its ideals of originality. Seven chapters centre on breaking points in Ekelöf's poetical progression where the outsider's quest for integrity, individuality, authenticity, and origin brings forth innovative aesthetical schemes. With an initial focus on an exemplary poem and certain general tendencies of his poetry of the period under discussion, each study provides a scrutiny of the changes to which his canon is submitted and of his attitude to the actual tradition behind the project. In these readings, running from Ekelöf's High Modernist début, sent på jorden (1932), to the preparatory stages of his orientalizing "Diwan poetry", three decades later, Ekelöf is shown to both evade and overcome the influence of his precursors, while simultaneously honouring a canon of "elective affinities" and deepening and sharpening his prolonged revision of the Christian tradition of the West. The three chapters that follow pursue Ekelöf's drawn-out transactions with Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Arthur Rimbaud, and T.S. Eliot. These relationships provide instances for a comprehensive discussion of several aspects of Ekelöf's interpretative performances and of the workings of literary influence. Almqvist is partly dealt with as an example of Ekelöf's inclination to reinterpret his canon in compliance with his current poetical and personal needs. Rimbaud is assayed as a general influence on the oeuvre even long after Ekelöf had dissociated himself from that precursor. In the concluding chapter, Ekelöf's long-lasting hostility towards Eliot is reviewed as an ingredient of his escalating conflict with the community of comparatist literary scholars, who represented a considerable threat to his poetic integrity.
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