Ett vidunder i sitt sekel: Retoriska studier i C.J.L. Almqvists kritiska prosa 1815-1851
2004 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
A Whirlwind in his Century : Rhetorical Studies in C.J.L. Almqvist's Critical Prose 1815-1851 (English)
The subject of this dissertation is Carl Jonas Love Almqvist’s critical prose and the status of rhetoric in 19th-century Sweden. Almqvist (1793–1866) was a leading author in Sweden during the first half of the 19th century, a controversial writer of fiction as well as argumentative essays. He was a prominent author of manifestos in the early Romantic period, a textbook author in the 1830s and a journalist in the liberal press of the 1840s. Throughout his career didactic and rhetorical objectives formed an essential part of his work. He aspired to reform the educational system, the church, the state and society’s moral standards in general. At the same time, programmatic intention was problematic to him, and his critical oeuvre is marked by ambivalence toward polemics and social commitment. A major theme in Almqvist’s works relates to the need for rhetorical language, on the one hand, and the resistance to persuasion, on the other. All through his work there is a dream of pure communication and a language of the heart. As a consequence of these views, Almqvist’s texts display a constant struggle with his authorial role.
The dissertation examines the rhetorical preconditions for, and the linguistic means of expression in, Almqvist’s critical prose. The first and the last chapters place Almqvist’s works in a historical and medial context. Chapter I shows how Almqvist’s conception of language and communication grows out of his involvement in several esoteric educational societies during 1815–1823. Chapter VI describes his attitudes towards the newspaper medium, and how the liberal press, by its specific rhetorical preconditions, affected his writing and his authorial role.
In readings of some of Almqvist’s major treatises (Historiens idéer, Det nya strids-sättets idé, Svenska Fattigdomens betydelse, Om Poesi i Sak and Europeiska missnöjets grunder, Chapters II–VI), argumentation and stylistic strategies are examined as ways of establishing authority in the texts. The aim is to characterize some specific features in the author’s critical prose. Among other things, the dissertation discusses the notion of a “jargon of authenticity”, Almqvist’s strategies with rhetorical genres, the predominant dialectics in the texts, and the creating of effective rhetorical situations by way of fiction.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hedemora: Gidlunds förlag , 2004. , 396 p.
, Almqviststudier, ISSN 1402-1285 ; 4
Literature, C.J.L. Almqvist, 19th-century rhetoric, Swedish Romanticism, topics, style, authority, speculative historiography, chiasmus, dialectics, 19th-century press
General Literature Studies
Research subject Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4669ISBN: 91-7844-664-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4669DiVA: diva2:165439
2004-11-26, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Malm, Mats, professor
Burman, Lars, professorLandgren, Bengt, professor