Den wallinska dikten: Från informatorsåren till Dödens ängel
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
This dissertation concerns the poetry of Johan Olof Wallin from the first poems of the early nineteenth century up to "The Angel of Death" ("Dödens Engel"). Johan Olof Wallin (1779-1839), poet, orator and preacher, member of the Swedish Academy and subsequently Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, was one of the most important cultural figures of his day. His contribution as a writer of hymns (the Swedish Hymn Book of 1819) assured him a place in Swedish literary and ecclesiastical history. The rest of his poetical work, however, which constitutes a major portion of his literary production, has been largely overlooked by previous scholarship.
As a poet, Wallin was both receptive and multifaceted. The principal methodological perspective of this chronologically organised study places the individual poem at the centre. When the aim is to describe and analyse such a diverse poetical production, however, a more textually oriented approach is required. Thus the objective of this study has been to work in such a way as to allow for a shifting of perspective. Attention to the different demands made on the interpreter by the individual poems combines several methodological perspectives, the most important of which are the historical (literary, theological, intellectual and general history) and the textual analytical (structural, stylistic and rhetorical analysis).
The dissertation consists of six chapters. Chapter One is devoted to Wallin's poetical works from the first decade of the nineteenth century. The discussion concentrates on certain features and tendencies in this initial phase of his writing. The main section of the second chapter is concerned with the poem Wallin wrote in connection with the solemn ceremony for the dedication of sculptor Johan Tobias Sergel's statue of Gustav III in Stockholm in the winter of 1808. Wallin's occasional poem "Dithyramb, the 24th of January 1808" is discussed from several different perspectives. The third chapter is entirely devoted to the cantata-like psalm paraphrase (Psalm 104) "In Praise of God" ("Guds Lof"), which provides an excellent example of Wallin's skill in revising and adapting texts. Wallin gave an account of his poetic production up to the beginning of the 1820's in his book of selected poems from 1821, Poetic Essays (Vitterhets-Försök). In the fourth chapter, the reception of that book is explored. Two poems from this collection of poetry are studied: "Hemsjukan" ("Homesickness") and "To Franzén and Tegnér" ("Till Franzén och Tegnér"), the latter being an especially interesting example of dedicatory poetry from a meta-poetic and literary-historical perspective. Memorial poems makes up a great part of the last decades of Wallin's substantial production of occasional poetry, and are therefore studied in the fifth chapter. The occasional poetry of the last decades also includes texts written for various ceremonies and festivities, such as, for example, the politically interesting "George Washington Toast at the Residence of Mr. Hughes. Sweden, the 22nd of February, 1837" ("George Washington. Toast hos Mr Hughes, Sverige d. 22 Febr. 1837"). The fifth chapter concludes with an account of Wallin's contribution to the periodical publication Reading-matter for the People (Läsning för Folket). The final chapter of the dissertation is devoted entirely to the poem on which Wallin worked until the day he died, found later among his literary remains, the poem which is generally agreed to be perhaps his very best: "The Angel of Death".
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 553 p.
Literature, Johan Olof Wallin, Swedish literature in the early 19th century, contemporary history, history of literature and ideas, theology, poetics, close reading, rhetoric, stylistics
General Literature Studies
Research subject Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-754ISBN: 91-88504-06-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-754DiVA: diva2:169701
2000-10-07, Sal X, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15