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  • Brenden, Randi (Nordica Helsingensia, 2013)
    This thesis deals with literature written by the Norwegian writer Åsta Holth (1904-1999). Holth was particularly known for her texts about the so called forest Fins , i.e. descendents from Finnish immigrants in Norway (and Sweden), and for her work to make this ethnic group recognized among ethnic Norwegians. Her writing also reveals a deep interest in feminism. The material that is used consists of one short story, Tomasdagen (1941), two novels, Gullsmeden (1958), and Volva (1987), together with Holth s self biography, Piga (1979). The basis of this dissertation is articles about each of these chosen texts, (published in Norsk litterær årbok 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012). The perspective in reading Holth s texts is double: From one point of view the ethnical aspct is studied, founded on post-colonial theories. Equally important is the feministic viewpoint: based upon the French feminist writers Hélène Cixous, Julia Kristeva, and Luce Irigary, the material is examined in order to focus on the feminist aspect in Holth s writing. Methodologically the basis of this dissertation is perspectivated readings where theoretical clusters are read together with the chosen parts of Holth s publications. Newer theory within the fields postcolonialism and feminism is applied as a foundation in these hermeneutic readings. The approach to the problem is to explore how the implementation of such theory in the reading of Holth s texts can highlight her literary work in a new way. The result of the investigation is that these readings tend to reactualize Holth s texts. The reactualization derives from the implementation of French feminists, which shows that Kristeva s conception of abjection is a central theme in connection with specific female experiences, such as female sexuality, birthing, and the dyade between mother and child. As to post-colonial theory, this thesis is based upon Foucault s theory concerning the discourse of power, and his idea of the contrast between dominant and dominated. The dissertation concludes that the gap between dominant and dominated, or elite and insurgent, can be overcome by individual, intimate meetings resulting in a productive hybrid, containing the possibility of thinking and acting independently, not being bound by old traditions.