Browsing by Subject "kirjallisuustiede"

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  • Kannas, Vappu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    When the journals of L.M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery (1874 1942) were first published in the 1980s, they became instantly widely read, just as her best-seller novel Anne of Green Gables had done in 1908. This can partly be explained by the literary quality and readability of the journals themselves. Not much, however, has been written about these aspects of the journals. Since our understanding of Montgomery s life is largely based on her journals, it is crucial that we take a closer look at what happens in the text. This dissertation is the first extensive study of the literary facets of Montgomery s life-writing mainly her journals, but also her letters and scrapbooks. With the focus on romance, both as a rhetorical device and subject matter, I explore the way Montgomery writes about her male and female love interests with what I term fictionalisation. By analysing the ten unpublished journal manuscripts as well as the published versions of them, The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery (1985 2004) and The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery (2012 2013), I approach diary as a literary genre. I explore questions such as how editing affects diary writing and its analysis and how literary conventions are employed in diaries. I demonstrate that for Montgomery the conventional romance is often a façade, one that is undercut by more subversive nuances, as presented for instance in the discourse of female intimacy. Intimate relationships with women come out as a more satisfying alternative to the conventional romance plot. Nevertheless, when this material is transferred to Montgomery s fiction it turns into the expected conventional romance between a man and a woman. Montgomery s self-conscious way of using romance must therefore be seen as one of the main features of her journals and one that may also influence our readings of her novels. Familiar literary conventions found in the diary, from the two suitors motif to the suicidal lesbian, show how aware Montgomery was of the literary and social customs of her time, whether of the 1890s or the 1930s. The use of the motif of the fallen woman, the tragedy of Hamlet, the fairy tale, especially Cinderella, the gothic novel and the satirical diary novel showcase the diversity of Montgomery s art as she recreates the story of her own romances in her life-writing. Although Montgomery s journal portrays a rather traditional romantic heroine, the forlorn heroine of a terribly sad life story , in Montgomery s own words, I maintain that analysing her journals in the same detailed way we analyse her fiction expands on our understanding both of her life and her writing. What is more, our understanding of diary as a genre can benefit from what is found in Montgomery s highly elaborate journals.
  • Broemer, Marlene (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    Important modernists in their own countries, Anna Akhmatova and Edith Södergran are compared in this dissertation as poets whose poetry reflects the climactic events of the early twentieth century in Finland and Russia. A comparatist, biographical and historical approach is used to uncover the circumstances surrounding these events. First the poets’ early works are reviewed and their contemporaries are mentioned to provide a poetic context. Then a brief review of Finnish and Russian history situates them historically. Next, the rich literary diversity of St. Petersburg’s Silver Age is presented and the work of the poets is viewed in context before their poetry is compared, as the First World War, October Revolution and subsequent Finnish Civil War impact their writing. While biography is not the primary focus, it becomes important as inevitably the writers’ lives are changed by cataclysmic events and the textual analysis of the poems in Swedish, Russian and English shows the impact of war on their poetry. These two poets have not been compared before in a critical review in English and this work contributes to needed work in English. They share certain common modernist traits: attention to the word, an intimate, unconventional voice, and a concern with audience. In addition, they both reject formal traditions while they adopt new forms and use modern, outside influences such as art, architecture and philosophy as subject matter and a lens through which to focus their poetry. While it may seem that Anna Akhmatova was the most socially aware poet, because of the censorship she endured under Stalin, my research has revealed that actually Edith Södergran showed the most social consciousness. Thus, a contrast of the poets’ themes reveals these differences in their approaches. Both poets articulated a vibrant response to war and revolution becoming modernists in the process. In their final works created in the years before their deaths, they reveal the solace they found in nature as well as final mentions of the violent events of their youth. Keywords: St. Petersburg, Modernism, Symbolism, Acmeism, Silver Age, Finland-Swedish literature