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Dramatikern Stagnelius
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Stagnelius the Dramatist (English)
Abstract [en]

The dissertation concerns the dramatic works of Erik Johan Stagnelius (1793–1823) and the status of drama in Swedish Romanticism. Stagnelius, who is considered one of the main representatives of literary Romanticism in Sweden, has however in the twentieth century been acclaimed primarily for his lyrical writings. This has also been the case for Swedish Romanticism in general, but on the contrary, as the first chapter demonstrates, for the Romanticists themselves, drama appeared as the central genre in the Romantic project. It was praised not only as a complete synthesis of the diverse tendencies of poetry and history, but also for its ability to contribute to the unification of mankind in an utopia of religious as well as national kind. In addition, the theater was an institution of great significance for the Romanticists, even if their actual influence on the theatrical practice was restricted.

The Romantic reception of Stagnelius is consistent with this account. Among the few works Stagnelius got published during his short life, the plays dominate, and the admiration of his brilliance was fundamentally based on his dramatic genius. The mainly chronologically structured chapters II–VIII of the dissertation explore the dramatic writings of Stagnelius, twelve works in all, dating from 1815 to 1823. The dramas appear as reflected explorations of human endeavor and providence, where the dialogic mode is used to investigate an ambiguous and obscure mortal existence, which lacks the guidance of a single discernible truth.

The importance of drama in Romantic poetics as well as the dialogic nature of Stagnelius’ dramas should throw doubt on the common definition of Romanticism as a monologic, subjective, and authentic enterprise. Instead, the Romantic endeavor emerges as an investigation of the limits of human capacity, characterized by dialogue, conflict, and reflection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eslöv: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion , 2004. , 569 p.
Keyword [en]
Literature, Erik Johan Stagnelius, Lorenzo Hammarsköld, P. D. A. Atterbom, Swedish Romanticism, German idealism, drama, theater, dialogue, reflection, literary genres, genre theory, poetics, aesthetics
Keyword [sv]
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4297ISBN: 91-7139-652-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4297DiVA: diva2:164768
Public defence
2004-05-22, sal IX, Universitetshuset, 10:15
Available from: 2004-04-28 Created: 2004-04-28 Last updated: 2016-03-21Bibliographically approved

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