Våldets lockelse och islossning : En reparativ läsning av Selma Lagerlöfs Herr Arnes penningar med fokus på manlighet
Sammanfattning: Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940) is one of Sweden’s most well-known and prominent authors. The field of research connected to both her personal life and her body of work is certainly immense. However there are still gaps in the research concerning Lagerlöf’s social critique through her literature. Alongside her authorship she was active in the peace- and women’s movement, and particularly so in women’s suffrage. Simultaneously, as the women’s movement gained momentum at the turn of the 20th century, there was a domestic armament in Sweden. It was at this point when Lagerlöf wrote Herr Arne’s Hoard/The Treasure (1903). The purpose of this study is to examine the connections between manliness and violence in Selma Lagerlöf’s Herr Arne’s Hoard/The Treasure. This is achieved by means of reparative reading using gender theory from the Nordic historic masculinity studies. The reparative reading is based on a model of interpretation, first promoted by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and is not about hidden meanings but rather what the text explicitly represents. The analysis shows that the text criticizes a certain fit for military service type of manliness. This particular manliness is characterized by self-interest and vindictiveness, which is tied to an archaic barbarity and social stagnation. At the same time it is connected to positions of power. The analysis also shows, through the critic, a feminine desire for justice, a movement towards change and the subversive potential of sympathy.
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