Sekulär ångest i 70-talets klassrum : En extistentiell och novellteoretisk studie av Torgny Lindgrens Skolbagateller medan jag försökte skriva till mina överordnade
Sammanfattning: Before the publication of the short story collection Skolbagateller medan jag försökte skriva till min överordnade in 1972, Torgny Lindgren's authorship was characterized mainly by political criticism and satire. In both reception and later studies, Skolbagateller has also been seen mainly as a political and satirical work, depicting the bureaucracy and loneliness in the Swedish school system of the 1970s, while Lindgren's later works tend to discuss existentialistic and theological questions. While reading the earlier published theses about Lindgren's works, especially Ingela Pehrson's Livsmodet i skrönans värld from 1993, I realized how big of an influence Kierkegaard had been to the author. With this in mind, it seemed as if Skolbagateller depicts existential questions that go deeper than the political satire. The main issue of this essay is the lack of interpersonal contact that Skolbagateller depicts, and why this seems to be so closely connected to the school system. The short story collection is studied from an existential point of view, based on Kierkegaard's concept of anxiety. The concept of sin is examined by a comparison between the secular system on which Lindgren's school is based, and the Christian system in which Kierkegaard founded his existentialism. The prose of the short stories is examined with the help of literary theory, such as James Joyce's concept of epiphany, and Roman Jakobson's view on the metonymically constructed language of the realistic prose, and the metaphorically structured language of lyrical works. The analysis shows that the school in Skolbagateller is metonymically connected to the secular society, and by extension to the mere concept of society. The secular ideas the school teaches prohibit the individual and spiritual development of the persons that are part of the school system and the socially evaluated concept of sin causes anxiety. The secular ideals of stability and uniformity leads to a worldview where humans are seen as mere physical and rational beings, leading to a socially constructed determinism where change is impossible. The theme is depicted by metonymically written repetitions and "reader epiphanies", that are accomplished by allegorical stories. In these, the characters are confronted with a problem that makes them doubt the school system, but in the end, they still choose to accept the rules without further reflection.
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