Sköra subjekt och apofatiska resor : En feministteologisk studie av svensk samtidslitteratur

Sammanfattning: This study examines literary portrayals of existential problems relating to women’s experiences of being denied as subjects, and how literature and writing can offer ways of reflecting upon questions of being a subject and lived forms of resistance. The material consists of six contemporary Swedish novels. Initially, I perform hermeneutic readings of the six novels against a background of feminist theory to identify existential problems represented in the texts. Taking my departure in these existential problems I then identify forms and signs of resistance in the novels, which I develop into constructive resources for reflection in theoretical conversations with feminist theology and (feminist) literary theory. The forms and signs of resistance that I find in the novels are not primarily aimed at solving the existential problems or overcoming the oppression that causes them. Nor do they place the resistance outside the order which causes them, expressing utopic visions of another way of being. Instead, they involve the existential problems and the experiences that give rise to them through literary meta-reflections and ways of writing that give the very problems literary form and follow their final consequences as a part of the text. Experiences of disappearing as a subject and movements of self-extinction, as well as linguistic problems caused by a void or lack in language, become text, or the disintegration of text. In this tendency I identify a negative movement which operates from a place within the oppressive order but from its margins, enabling a distance in which resistance and critique can be formulated. Based on these literary strategies and with feminist perspectives on negative or apophatic theology, I develop an interchanging apophatic path as a way of destabilizing and suspending expressions of the oppressive order, its given meaning and fixed inscriptions from a place within it. This metaphoric place of darkness and emptiness can be a place of transformation and of new and transformative meaning to be created and explored. I understand it as a metaphorical journey to the underworld, a journey of existential risk and commitment and of meaning and subject-being in continuous processes of becoming.