Jag kan sjunga hur jag vill: Tankevärld och konstsyn i Edith Södergrans diktning
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
The basis of this dissertation is a critical examination of the biographical and psychological perspective which has to date dominated work on Södergran and which explains Södergran's writings as a product of her distinctive personality and tragic circumstances. It is a view that is presented here as deceptive, enervating, and counterproductive to a deeper understanding of how her body of work relates to the development of verse during the twentieth century.
The purpose of the dissertation is to identify and examine how her poetry establishes a dialogue with the nascent twentieth century's modern literature and ideas. It follows and analyses a dear progression in Edith Södergran's work with relation to the history of ideas, from symbolism and Arthur Schopenhauer, to expressionism and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner. Earlier studies have attributed the free verse of Södergran's youth to her pulmonary tuberculosis and the fear of death it resulted in. However, the conception of a new way of looking at the world and the people in it was an artistic problem for her even in the writings of her youth, before the illness, and something which Södergran, in her work, strove after through a dialogue with the literature and ideas of the time. This dissertation scrutinizes instead Edith Södergran's poetry in the light of modernisation, of alienation, the loss of higher meaning and morals in the wake of secularisation.
This dissertation also asserts that Edith Södergran, as a woman, has a particular relationship to the literary tradition and ideas of the period. It examines therefore also her partly divergent perspective, her critical relationship to, and interpretation of, the literary conventions, ideas and perceptions of the early twentieth century from a feminine aspect. This seems simultaneously to fuel the modernistic break with tradition.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 340,  p.
Literature, critical research, gender, symbolism, modernity, Arthur Schopenhau-
er, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rudolf Steiner
General Literature Studies
Research subject Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-762ISBN: 951-52-1857-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-762DiVA: diva2:169773
2000-12-09, Universitetets lärosal X, Uppsala, 10:15