Volym 136, 2015
From the Stork to Sperm Banks. Sex Education Books for Children 1965–2014 (Från stork till spermabank. Sexualupplysningslitteratur för barn 1965–2014)
The aim of this article is to analyze depictions of gender and sexuality in sex education books for young children published in Sweden between 1965 and 2014. After describing the general trends in the publication of sex education literature during the period, the article discusses the narrative address and family structures, gendered descriptions of reproduction, and the introduction of assisted reproductive technologies and non-heterosexual parenting in the studied material.
The majority of the sex education books portray white, two-parent families and focus on heterosexual reproduction. Men and sperm are normally described as more active and important during conception, and the reproductive process is often depicted from the sperm’s point of view. At the same time, there are books throughout the period that problematize gender stereotypes in reproduction and, from the late 1990s, heteronormative sexuality.
This article also shows that verbal and visual descriptions of sexual intercourse were more explicit in sex education books from the 1970s, while books from the early 21th century depict a greater variety of families and assisted reproductive technologies. After the 1970s, sex education literature for all ages disappears and the books are more clearly adapted for different age groups.
Poetry Quotations in Swedish early modern academic Dissertations (Antika poesicitat i tidigmoderna svenska dissertationer)
Academic texts from the 17th and 18th centuries often contain quotations of poetry, the great majority from the classical antiquity. Even if this is well known, it appears to be little studied. This paper accounts for a study of the presence and function of such quotations in academic dissertations from Uppsala University 1625–1850. The study includes a survey of the extent to which poetry is quoted in the dissertations in various subjects and periods between the years 1625–1850. Further the study explores which poets are most quoted in the material and what arguments poetry quotations usually support. The survey shows that among the periods studied poetry is quoted most frequently in period 2 (1685–1710), whereas it is hardly quoted at all in the following period 3 (1760–1785). The paper discusses reasons for the "rise and fall" of the poetry quotation and makes comparisons to other tendencies in academic writing, changes in the academic milieu and changes in poetics with regard to what should be considered the right use and purpose of poetry, in society and in university education. The use of the poetry in period 2 for argumentative purposes corresponds roughly to the poetical theory of the time. Solely decorative purposes appear to be rare, while poetry appears generally to have been quoted in its capacity of being specialist literature in various disciplines. Alongside the disciplines studied here, medicine and political science, poetry quotations represented fields of knowledge such as history, ethics and philosophy, as well as in then undefined fields such as psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology and ethnology.
Did Aurora von Königsmarck really write Die drey Töchter Cecrops? (Skrev Aurora von Königsmarckverkligen Die drey Töchter Cecrops?)
The 17th-century opera Die drey Töchter Cecrops (Cecrops’s Three Daughters) has been transmittedthrough two different libretto versions, printed anonymously and without date orplace, and a manuscript score. The question of who wrote the libretto is discussed in this essay.For this purpose, various theories concerning when and where the libretto was written are presented,which is important for establishing possible candidates. Since 1744 the most frequentlymentioned name in this connection has been the Swedish Countess Aurora von Königsmarck(1662–1728). However, if Die drey Töchter Cecrops was written in the late 1670s, which seemslikely, Königsmarck would have been in her mid-teens. If the text was written for Ansbach(where the score has survived together with one of the printed librettos) this would weakenKönigsmarck’s position as a candidate further, since no contacts between her family and Ansbachhave been established. If the text was written for Hamburg (where the opera was performedin 1680) this would strengthen Königsmarck, since she lived there until May 1680. Inlater years, the composers and librettists Johann Wolfgang Franck and Johann Philipp Förtschrespectively have been suggested as the author of Die drey Töchter Cecrops. The question of theidentity of the librettist is unsolved to this day and is probably unsolvable at present.
The Illustrated Book? Intermediality, Structure and Method in Folke Dahlberg’s Den berusade båten [The Drunken Boat] (Den illustrerade boken? Intermedialitet, struktur och metod i Folke Dahlbergs Den berusade båten)
This article focuses Folke Dahlberg’s second book Den berusade båten (1950), the most remarkable in his entire oeuvre in the way and to the extent that it combines different media and literary genres. It contains 38 reproduced drawings by Dahlberg, the title page informing the reader: "With illustrations by the author". Den berusade båten not only includes texts and drawings, the incorporated texts furthermore represent various genres: prose, poetry, prose-poetry, one narrative poem, even a quotation from a medical handbook. In fact, the book begins by quoting in French Rimbaud’s poem "Le Bateau ivre" in its entirety. Den berusade båten thus challenges and transgresses boundaries of several kinds. In my article I problematize the concept of ‘illustration’, arguing for its relevance only in connection with the three drawings related to Dante’s Divine Comedy. I also discuss the structure and form of the book and address the question of intermediality, in particular the consequences it has for the reading of Den berusade båten. Furthermore, I consider allegorization to be its dominant poetic method. In this an influence from Rimbaud’s poem manifests itself. The article also discusses the notion of poetic dreaming as it is combined with the omnipresent water and its symbolic meaning in Den berusade båten. I finally bring in the concepts ‘melancholy’ and ‘primitivism’ in order to lay bare thematic features expressed both in Dahlberg’s texts and in his pictures.
A forgotten 18th-Century Poet: Greta Giädda on the Bales, Boons and Blessings of Marriage (En bortglömd 1700-talspoet. Greta Giädda om äktenskapets ve, väl och välsignelse
In this paper we meet Greta Giädda (ca 1680–1753), a (minor) poet fairly unknown to posterity from the first part of the 18th century. However, she happened to enter the history of Swedish literature when she rose strong objections to the Swedish poet, Johan Runius, and his energetic defence in a wedding poem, 1712, of matrimony and the supposed happy life together as husband and wife. As a matter of fact, she started a versified quarrel with her "Contra-vers" — the term is hers. This quarrel is well known but not her identity as author of this "Contra-vers", nor her text. Thanks to the discovery of her manuscripts in the Linköping Diocese Library, we can now get a better knowledge of this controversy about marriage, compulsion and freedom. Some of her poems handed down to us, foremost occasional poetry, were printed. An appendix registers all of her poems. Another appendix presents an early text by Samuel Triewald, who in this way contributed to the on-going discussion.
The paper also describes two cultural places that were very likely important to Greta Giädda, namely first a vicarage in Stockholm and later on, a manor in Östergötland. Not least this rural manor was obviously a place where the burning questions in the controversy between Greta Giädda and Johan Runius in the year 1712 were continuously discussed.
August Strindberg and The Laocoon Group (August Strindberg och Laokoongruppen)
For centuries the Hellenistic Laocoon Group, discovered in 1506, was regarded as one of the most prominent sculptures in art history. Copies in bronze and plaster were spread widely. The group inspired artists and authors in many countries, also in Sweden, and it came sharply into focus in Winckelmann’s and Lessing’s famous discussion on aesthetics. However, late in the 19th century the Laocoon Group was re-evaluated, and its reputation declined rapidly. Between 1884 and 1905 the Laocoon Group appeared in several of August Strindberg’s texts. Strindberg shared the new critical view on the group. For that very reason he found the sculpture and its plaster copies very useful when in the 1880s in some poetic and narrative texts he polemically focused on the concepts beauty and truth. In his poem "Laokoon" (1891) which presents an existential interpretation of the Laocoon Group, Strindberg proposes a new answer to the famous question why Laocoon does not scream. In Laocoon’s face he discerns a scream that has disappeared and turned into a humble appeal for mercy for the two sons. In Strindberg’s drama Näktergalen i Wittenberg (The Nightingale of Wittenberg, 1903) the Laocoon Group structures the whole play. The leading character, Martin Luther, is directly and indirectly connected to the Laocoon figure. The Laocoon Group is shown on stage and functions as a scenographic Leitmotif for Luther.
A surprisingly illiterate crow. On Lars Sund’s Novel Tre systrar och en berättare, and the Reader (Den "förvånansvärt obildade kråkan". Om Lars Sunds roman Tre systrar och en berättare och läsaren)
Using as paratexts some textual statements by the Finland-Swedish writer Lars Sund, where he e.g. emphasizes the raison d’être of Finlandisms in the Finland-Swedish literature, and discusses the supposed general lack in Sweden of awareness about the history of Finland, the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland and the inquiries accompanying its language varieties and its literature, I argue that this is immanently thematised in Sund’s latest novel Tre systrar och en berättare ("Three Sisters and a Narrator"), in the way the novel’s narrator seems to — mainly through a crow! — address the Swedish reader with information and explanation about e.g. historical events in Finland, and translations of Finlandisms, dialectic and finish expressions; information not necessary for the Finland-Swedish reader who already possesses this knowledge. Nevertheless, I show that also the Finland-Swedish reader is addressed at the same, mainly by how the novel’s use of Finland-Swedish language variety evokes a community of familiarity and how the already familiar information works to thematise and satirize the Swedish addressee’s lack of understanding and need of explanations, but partly also by small historical factoids planted by the narrator which test the well-informed reader’s attention and tolerance. Accordingly, I show that critics in Sweden did acknowledged the language variety in the novel, with its elements of Finlandisms, Finland-Swedish dialect, and Finnish interference, and commented on it in a positive way, and that critics in Finland-Swedish newspapers did recognize the explanations through the crow as aimed for and addressed to the Swedish readers.
Transformations of "True Merit". Carl Gustaf Leopold between intimate Panegyric and academic Didacticism ("Förtjänstens" förvandlingar. Carl Gustaf Leopold mellan intim panegyrik och akademisk didaktik)
The article is an investigation of the textual history and the generic transformations of the poem "Förtjensten" ("The True Merit") by Carl Gustaf Leopold. The poem was originally commissioned by his protector Gustaf Adolf Reuterholm, and was never published officially in that version. A second, much simplified, version appeared in the Collected Works of 1801. An attempt is made to treat the two poems, one a "pre-romantic" experiment, the other a more conventional didactic poem, as separate instantiations of one and the same writing practice, that of the lengthy, non-epic poem. By combining textual history, genetic criticism and genre-based reading, the article tries to understand the potential of this way of writing and its flexibility in adapting to different circumstances. In its first version, the poem creates a unique form of "intimate panegyric", part traditional encomium, part sentimental conversation. In the later version all reminiscences of its original addressee have been eliminated, and the poem is transformed into a series of "general reflections". The goal is to investigate the changes made but also their poetological underpinning. This could lead us to an understanding of these seemingly opposed tendencies — "classicism" and "preromanticism" — as possibilities contained in the experiments with longer poems.
Olof Högberg’s Den stora vreden [The Great Wrath] and the Invention of Norrland (Olof Högbergs Den stora vreden och skapandet av Norrland)
In this article I analyse Olof Högberg’s novel Den stora vreden [The Great Wrath], published in Sweden in 1906. The novel has been regarded as one of the first novels from the northern part of Sweden. I argue that Högberg used the novel in order to invent a cultural identity for Norrland, in much the same way as contemporary postcolonial literature does. Högberg, and other authors from the northern parts of Sweden in the early 20th century, reacted against the exploitation of the north by companies from the south of Sweden. The north had abundant natural resources: big forests, ore fields and great rivers, but was regarded as a wilderness or a wasteland with few inhabitants. In opposition to this view, Högberg wanted to incorporate stories, tales and legends from the north into his novel in order to show that the Norrlandic people had a history; they had an origin and a cultural identity. But Högberg also wanted to create an imagined community, a nation of Norrland, with his novel. To achieve this, he turned to the genre of the adventure novel. His main characters were representatives of different groups in Norrland. There was Svarte-Mickel, representing the common man; there was Emanuel Bredman, a representative of the indigenous Sami people; and there was Mäster-Sara, a representative of the strong woman of the north. The heroes followed the pattern of the adventure novel. They all had to leave their homes and go into the world, but returned in order to resurrect the nation of Norrland. In this way Högberg’s novel was about inventing Norrland as a nation.