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Tecknets tragedi: Symbol och allegori i Atterboms sagospel Lycksalighetens ö : [symbol and allegory in Atterboms fairytale play The Island of Felicity]
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
1998 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study deals with the concepts of symbol and allegory in Idealist/Romantic aesthetic doctrine, with special consideration given to one of the principal works of Swedish Romantic literature, P.D.A. Atterbom's fairytale play Lycksalighetens ö (The island of Felicity). The dissertation consists of an introduction briefly outlining the topic and two main parts.

Part one analyses in depth the concepts symbol and allegory in Atterbom's aesthetic writings, highlighting the influence of the aesthetics of F.W.J. Schelling and Karl Philipp Moritz. The semiotic and philosophical implications of the concepts are demonstrated, as well as their relevance to a romantic philosophy of history and to the concept of a new mythology. The dichotomy between symbolic and allegorical art is to a large extent analogous to the chief Romantic model of philosophy of history, where the clash between the immanent perspective of paganism and the transcendental tendency of Christianity is the decisive turning point.

The polemic between two contemporary reviewers over whether the play was of a more allegorical or a more symbolic nature serves as a point, of departure for the investigation in part two, which attempts to establish the relevance of these concepts in the interpretation of the work. It is then argued that the play, which according to Atterbom's own intention, was to be a history as well as a tragedy of poetry, is structured as a dialectic progression between a symbolic and an allegorical aesthetic principle. In what is not only the tragedy, but also the apotheosis of poetry, an original state of mythological, symbolic beauty is brought to an end and eventually replaced by an allegorical form of beauty, which allows for the transcendental perspectives revealed by Christianity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 246, [2] p.
Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Skrifter utgivna av Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0346-7856 ; 36
Keyword [en]
Literature, romanticism, symbol, allegory, F.W.J. Schelling, Karl Philipp Moritz, new mythology, german idealism, semiotics, romantic drama, poetics, aesthetics
Keyword [sv]
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-219ISBN: 91-554-4300-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-219DiVA: diva2:161820
Public defence
1998-11-27, universitetets lärosal IX, Uppsala universitet, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 1998-11-06 Created: 1998-11-06 Last updated: 2009-03-18Bibliographically approved

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