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The Phenomenological Experience of Childhood
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0115-4995
2014 (English)In: The End of Place as We Know It, 17 – 19 September 2014: Book of Abstracts / [ed] Rune Graulund, 2014, 16-16 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Nostalgia evoked through the use of childhood is generally achieved by addressing the world of childhood as an alternative to the present. This is done either through the use of an idealized space or time, by reinforcing its past character, or by using common symbols or representations of childhood that force the reader into the sensations of his own past childhood. A third alternative, that of engaging the reader in a childhood consciousness is less explored. This paper will examine how literature actually can transport the reader into not only the idealized world of childhood, but more so into the very phenomenological experience of childhood through the use of different kind of narrative moods and techniques. It will do so by analysing two texts, Virginia Woolf’s The Waves (1931) and Tarjei Vesaas’ Is-slottet [The Ice Palace] (1963), which represent two different strategies producing potential phenomenological experiences of childhood in readers. The initial chapter in Woolf’s The Waves is a journey for the reader through the consciousness of childhood, which through its non-linguistic syntax opens up the possibility of childhood identification and hence nostalgia.The most important factor that creates a childhood consciousness in Vesaas’ Is-slottet is undoubtedly the extensive use of free indirect speech in order to captivate the inner world of the two children, mainly that of Siss. Through the use of FIS, the world of the children or childhood is communicated through a similar, but less radical, focalization as we have seen in The Waves. The lack of rationality, limitations in expression, simplicity, repetitions, and a tense detailed experience of the physical, forms the phenomenological base for childhood identification.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. 16-16 p.
Keyword [en]
Nostalgia, Childhood, Phenomenology, Vesaas, Woolf
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37725OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-37725DiVA: diva2:756458
Conference
The End of Place as We Know It: Shifting Perspectives on Literature and Place, 17-19 September, University of Strathclyde
Available from: 2014-10-17 Created: 2014-10-17 Last updated: 2017-03-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf