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Efter unionsupplösningen: Nation och genuspolitik i Hjalmar Söderbergs Den allvarsamma leken
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages. (Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)
2019 (Swedish)In: Edda. Nordisk tidsskrift for litteraturforskning, ISSN 0013-0818, E-ISSN 1500-1989, Vol. 106, no 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article considers issues of nationalism and gender politics in Hjalmar Söderberg’s 1912 novel The Serious Game [Den allvarsamma leken]. I focus on the depiction of the dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway that took place in 1905 in order to analyze the intersection of nation and gender in fin-de-siècle discourses of liberalism. Ellen Key (depicted in the novel as “Ellen Hej”) is a key figure not only in the period’s feminist debates but also as an activist advocating for the peaceful dissolution of the union. I focus on Key and Söderberg’s views of the nation as one stage in a progressive evolution towards a cosmopolitan community, as well as Key’s controversial sexual politics. Moreover, I show how the novel naturalizes heterosexual desire in the main character Arvid’s incurable desire for Lydia. I argue finally that the melancholy tone permeating the novel is a mode of expression for liberalism’s unfinished projects of emancipation for both women and the nation.

Abstract [sv]

Denna artikel undersöker nationalism och genuspolitik i Hjalmar Söderbergs Den allvarsamma leken (1912). Jag fokuserar på romanens skildring av unionsupplösningen som skedde 1905 mellan Sverige och Norge för att analysera intersektionen av nation och genus i sekelskiftets liberala diskurser. Ellen Key (som skildras i romanen som ”Ellen Hej”) är en nyckelfigur både i feministiska debatter och i egenskap av aktivist som förespråkade en fredlig unionsupplösning. Jag lyfter Keys och Söderbergs syn på nationen som ett stadium i den progressiva utvecklingen mot en kosmopolitisk gemenskap, samt Keys kontroversiella kärlekslära. Jag visar dessutom hur romanen naturaliserar det heterosexuella begäret genom huvudpersonen Arvids obotliga begär till Lydia. Slutligen menar jag att den melankoliska stämning som genomsyrar romanen är ett uttryck för liberalismens ofullständiga emancipationsprojekt gällande såväl kvinnor som nationen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Universitetsforlaget , 2019. Vol. 106, no 3
Keywords [en]
Gender, sexuality, nation, dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway, Hjalmar Söderberg, Ellen Key
Keywords [sv]
Genus, sexualitet, nation, unionsupplösningen mellan Sverige och Norge, Hjalmar Söderberg, Ellen Key
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-82246DOI: 10.18261/issn.1500-1989-2019-03-03OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-82246DiVA, id: diva2:1307245
Note

English title: After the end of the union. Nation and gender in Hjalmar Söderberg’s The Serious Game

Available from: 2019-04-26 Created: 2019-04-26 Last updated: 2019-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Classon Frangos, Mike

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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