O. Tvist, Tardif och Ernst Ahlgren : En studie av polypseudonymitet hos Victoria Benedictsson
Sammanfattning: This dissertation examines the concept of anonymous writing where the focus of the study more specifically lies on pseudonymity and the notion that most pseudonymous authors – more often than not – choose to write with different pen names as opposed to just one. The French literary theorist, Gérard Genette, explains this phenomenon by describing pseudonym-use as an addiction that quite simply tends to cause authors to overdose in an abundance of fictitious names. Such was the case with many Scandinavian authors such as Søren Kierkegaard, Karen Blixen, and Victoria Benedictsson– all of which used different pen names but their cases of polypseudonymity differ greatly. To better understand why this is, I´ve chosen to limit my study to the latter of the three and her most-used pseudonyms: Tardif, O. Tvist, and Ernst Ahlgren. Benedictsson’s case can quite simply be considered unique since her latest pseudonym, E. A., was her alter ego and thus an intricate part of her writer persona. Alongside Gérard Genette’s, this paper greatly relies on the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s studies of anonymous practices in order to determine the functions that are most often attributed to pseudonyms. Most commonly, pseudonyms can be seen as a technique that serves to hide the author’s identity; to help improve their chances at publication. Furthermore, pen names can have the ability to enrich the status of the name and, thus, the influence and the effect of the literary work itself. In accordance with all names – fictional or not – pseudonyms may also have a classifying function, as well as a symbolic one. These general functions are examined through Benedictsson’s example where her pseudonyms are analyzed both individually and in comparison to one another. Their functions are largely dependant on the situation and context in which the pseudonyms were used. In other words, they differ greatly in regards to the person that the author corresponded with, as well as the type of media in which the pseudonyms tended to appear– such as letters, novels, newspapers, as well as Benedictsson’s journals. Even more eye-catching is, perhaps, the fact that the functions of these pseudonyms vary concerning specific phases of the author’s literary career.
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