Vad gömmer sig i Norrlands skogar? : Om natur, människor och exotism i tre samtida norrländska romaner
Sammanfattning: What’s Hiding in the Woods of the Swedish North? – About nature, humans, and exoticism in three contemporary northern Swedish novels – This essay aims at exploring the use of nature and the supernatural in contemporary northern Swedish literature, in the light of the long historical exploitation of the area and the conflicts this caused. The novels that are being examined are Stallo by Stefan spjut, Glupahungern by Andrea Lundgren and Ett föremåls berättelse om obesvar by Mikael Berglund. The essay is underpinned, first and foremost, by theories of ecocritisism and postcolonial ecocritisism in order to explore the relations between humans and environment. In addition to this, theories of time-space relations and movement as well as theories of human-animal relationships and transformations are used. The analysis focuses on movement in time-space, the relationship between bear and child, and human-bear and troll-bear transformations in the novels. The different paths that are chosen by the characters in the novels reveal varying ways in which humans relate to nature, and as a result also relations to, and ideas about, the Swedish north. For example, the nomadic people in Ett föremåls berättelse om obesvar moves according to seasonal change, while the crowns men from the south establish their settlements close to the natural resources they are exploiting, in this case silver, and adjust nature to their own needs. These relationships are also made visible in relation to the non-human animals as well as non-human animal transformations in the novels: for example the troll-bear transformations in Stallo elaborates the idea of northern Sweden as a wilderness, whilst Glupahungern rather use this idea of northern Sweden in order to criticise the anthropocentric norm. In conclusion, all three novels relate in different ways to the history of, and ideas about, the Swedish north, which in turn are closely connected to stories about nature and the supernatural. The novels display a critical relationship towards historical events, as well as present day ideas and approaches to northern Sweden, nature and animals.
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