Den omöjliga utopin : En läsning av Sara Stridsbergs Drömfakulteten
Sammanfattning: Utopias, by their very nature, verge on the impossible. Yet utopian dreams continue to inform the literary imagination. Why is that, and how? The present thesis approaches these questions through a reading of Drömfakulteten: - tillägg till sexualteorin (The Faculty of Dreams: Amendment to theTheory of Sexuality or Valerie), a novel or “literary fantasy” about the life and work of radical feminist and writer Valerie Solanas, by the Swedish writer Sara Stridsberg. The reading examines the possibility of utopian desire and imagination in a hopeless and anti-utopian world. I argue that Drömfakulteten revolves around, and tries to resolve, a seemingly impossible contradiction: to represent an unbearably closed and confined existence, and, at the same time, to break out of this closure from within. A pervading aim of the thesis, then, is to render visible the forms and flows of utopian desire in Stridsberg’s novel. The first part of the reading does this by connecting Drömfakulteten to Fredric Jameson’s and Northrop Frye’s perspectives on historical genres and modes; especially, but not exclusively, on romance. Here, I primarily examine the mechanisms that continually distort and pervert utopian desire in the text. The second part, in contrast, takes as its starting point those utopian forms and impulses that appear to escape or unsettle such distorting mechanisms. The theoretical framework at this stage is provided by Jameson’s structural readings of romance and the utopian form, as well as José Esteban Muñoz queer-utopian thinking. I contend that Drömfakulteten can be read as a narrative structure directed towards a determined closure or ending, which is opened up through various – essentially utopian – strategies.
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