Hur kan en kvinna vara dekadent? : En studie av möjliga uttryck för kvinnlig dekadens i Stella Kleves Berta Funcke

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Södertörns högskola/Idéhistoria

Sammanfattning: This essay examines possible subject positions offered to a female in relations to the decadence genre in the novel Berta Funcke (1885) by Stella Kleve, pseudonym for Mathilda Malling. The aim is to study how a female can be decadent. I analyze subject positions and examine how they enable decadent expressions of the female character. To understand subject positions in relations to the historical context I use Chris Weedon’s approach to feminist poststructuralism. I define decadence as a relative concept and understand it as a wider experience of decadence and dissolution in society. The methodological framework is based on hermeneutic reading. The result shows that the female protagonist is under the influence of many subjectivities simultaneously. Her decadence can be seen as both a source of emancipation and of constraint. From the analysis, I’ve been able to distinguish four characteristic subject positions: The Erotic, The Hermaphrodite, The Actress and The Hothouse Plant. The subject positions are bound to stereotypes of the time but also permits the female protagonist to transcend gender definitions. The result shows that the decadent aesthetics, expressions and vocabulary open up new ways of being for the female character.

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