Det utskrivna barnet : En studie av relationen till barnet som konstruktion i Mare Kandres tidiga författarskap (1984-1991)
This MA thesis analyzes how the protagonists and the narrative structure relates to “the Child” as a linguistic/cultural construction in Mare Kandre’s early authorship (1984-1991). A thematic of children portraits defines this period of Kandre’s writing, which consits of the following works: In a Different Country (1984), The Annunciation (1986), Bübin’s Kid (1987), The Burning Tree (1988) and Aliide, Aliide (1991).
Linguistic components, such as the word “child”, the name “Kid” and a reconstruction of the concept of childhood, holds an actuate position in these narratives when they first appear in direct relation to the protagonists. This suggests how generally accepted categories and concepts consciously are at work in Kandre’s writings. Consequently, a category such as “child” can not unproblematically serve as a definition of any of the protagonists, irrespective of their presumptive age. Combining philosopher Judith Butler’s theory of name-calling with theories in the field of Childhood Studies as presented by Susan Honeyman, “the Child” in Kandre’s works is explored through the hypothesis of its function as a name.
Close readings reveal how the protagonists, in the encounter with an explicitly cultural or narrative context, are constituted as subjects through the linguistic category “child”. The protagonists can be considered both as subordinated by the conventionally manifested notion of life development as a linear, measurable progress and as introduced to the means which make possible a critical response to that same notion. Since the main protagonists strongly refuse to be defined by the conventions supporting “the Child” as a category, a dialogue is created which gives the narrative its force. That dialogue corresponds to different aspects of the concept of childhood, which place “the Child” as a construction at the heart of Kandre’s narrative composition.
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