Det populärkulturella minnet i samtida skönlitteratur : En intertextuell läsning av Amanda Svenssons Hey Dolly
Adapting the concept of the ”popular cultural memory” and its necessary “context knowledge” established by Karin Kukkonen, this bachelor thesis seeks to examine how this memory is “at work” and expresses itself in contemporary fiction, by doing an intertextual reading of the swedish author Amanda Svensson's debut Hey Dolly. Within the intertextual structures of Hey Dolly the reader encounters allusions and references that address almost everything from contemporary popular culture to established authors in the swedish canon, mainly as means for the characters to help them express their emotions and thoughts, by “choosing” from already available content of popular culture to use and modify. The intertextuality alluding to the popular cultural memory does at the same time address the concept of the ideal reader throughout the novel. This ideal reader is addressed by the narrator as one of those “in the know”, as competent enough to see this “popular cultural memory” at work in the novel by “getting” these intertextual allusions and references. Thus any (real) reader has to be equipped with the same expertise of popular culture as the narrator in order to fully understand this intertextuality. The intertextual practices of Hey Dolly should be understood as traits used by the author to express and implicate her/his awareness of the texts “surroundings”, traits indeed found even in the name of Hey Dolly's main protagonist, symptomatically influenced from contemporary, western American commercial culture. Given the premiss where this intertextual framework relies on a heavily contemporary influenced popular cultural context, it potentially would run the risk of not being understood, should future popular culture contexts operate under different premisses. In this regard the high cultural canon memory would have to be regarded as being more stable and “reliable” than the popular cultural memory, as the norms for the canon are more fixed and rarely negotiated. Arguing that this intertextual reading of Hey Dolly is of an immense value and significant for understanding how the Zeitgeist operates and should be approached, this thesis is still based on the premiss where the intertextual reading of Hey Dolly has largely been nonexistent when looking at how Hey Dolly has been received. Instead in the swedish media we find a consistent dominance of how its reception has been read from almost exclusively a gendered point of view, where Hey Dolly is seen and regarded as the forthcoming of a new representation of the girl/woman ideal. The intertextual reading of Hey Dolly would instead be regarded as “secondary” at best, where the story by itself is self sufficient, even if the reader lacks the necessary context knowledge of how this ”popular cultural memory” is at work in the text.
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