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"I de svartaste djupen födes hoppet igen": Natursyn och minoritetspositioner i Göran Stenius romaner
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2014 (Swedish)In: Avain - Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen aikakauslehti, ISSN 1795-3790, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

“In the Blackest Depths Hope is Reborn”: Views of Nature and Minority Positions in the Novels of Göran Stenius

Torsten Pettersson, University of Uppsala

Göran Stenius (1909–2000) was a Swedish-speaking Finn who, while forging a successful diplomatic career, made a name for himself as a writer of novels. Four of them are set in Carelia, two (as well as an unfinished work) in or around Rome, reflecting Stenius’s double identity as a Carelian and a Catholic. This article argues, firstly, that the theme holding the seemingly disparate novels together is a concern with nature in relation to a Christian worldview; and, secondly, that this existential theme can be seen as a strategy for rising above the pressures of marginalization on regional and religious grounds.

    More specifically, Stenius’s first novel Det okända helgonets kloster (1934; The Monastery of the Unknown Saint) paints a bleak picture of nature as something unknowable, chaotic and inhuman. In Fästningen (1945; The Castle) that view reappears, but in a less pronounced form. In Klockorna i Rom (1955; The Bells of Rome) nature inspires considerable appreciation but its beauty is still seen as a form of wordliness. Brödet och stenarna (1959; The Bread and the Stones) then presents the most appreciative view, partly as a change of heart in the character of Juha Poutanen, partly as a quotation from St. Francis of Assisi praising “sister Earth, our mother”. Thus nature is in the end the omnipresent centre beyond all pressures of marginalization.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsingfors, 2014. no 3
Keyword [sv]
Göran Stenius, katolicism, natursyn, minoritetspositioner
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-241760OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-241760DiVA: diva2:781450
Available from: 2015-01-16 Created: 2015-01-16 Last updated: 2015-01-16

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