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Att röra en värld: en queerteoretisk analys av erotiska trianglar i sex verk av August Strindberg
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Touching a World : A Queertheoretical Analysis of Erotic Triangles in Six Texts by August Strindberg (English)
Abstract [en]

The subject of this dissertation is a queertheoretical analysis of erotic triangles with two men and one woman, in six texts by August Strindberg (1849–1912). The material consists of the novel A Madman’s Defence (1887–88) and the plays Creditors (1888), Playing with Fire (1892), Crime and Crime (1899), Dance of Death I (1901) and To Damascus I–III (1898–1901).

Employing a queer understanding of the history of sexuality and a theoretical frame provided mainly by Judith Butler, I interpret the manifestation of “sex” within the above-mentioned texts as constructed by performative means, in particular those intimately linked to expressions of same-sex and different-sex erotic desires. With Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s term “homosocial desire” I direct the attention of the analysis primarily to the dynamic relationship between the male rivals within the erotic triangle. What consequences do the erotic desires have for the gender-categories in the triangular formation, and do they change over a longer time-span in Strindberg’s writings?

The result of the study is that the sexual desires of the literary characters within the erotic triangle is of crucial importance for their status as legitimately gendered subjects, and ultimately as acceptable human beings, within the heteronormative context. Moreover, the triangular formation does not alter particularly over time, and the same elements keep occurring with only minor differences between the texts. This process I interpret, within the context of Jacques Derrida’s term “reiteration”, as a means to construct gendered characters that is at one and the same time normative and understandable, as well as dynamic and with a potential for change. In this construction the simultaneous threat and potential of same-sex erotic desires is of crucial importance as it enables new ways to move, create and touch a world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Ellerströms , 2007. , 303 p.
Keyword [en]
Literature, August Strindberg, Queer studies, Erotic triangles, Gender studies, Performativity, Homosocial desire, Triangular desire, History of sexuality, Hermeneutics
Keyword [sv]
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8397ISBN: 978-91-7247-180-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-8397DiVA: diva2:171228
Public defence
2008-01-09, Geijersalen, hus 6, Humanistiskt Centrum, Engelska parken, Uppsala universitet, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2007-12-14 Created: 2007-12-14 Last updated: 2010-11-10Bibliographically approved

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Lönngren, Ann-Sofie
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