Isolerat och övergivet nationsfragment, hänsynslöst ihjältiget? : studier i den finlandssvenska litteraturens position och predikament i Sverige

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-7496-3
Title: Isolerat och övergivet nationsfragment, hänsynslöst ihjältiget? : studier i den finlandssvenska litteraturens position och predikament i Sverige
Author: Riitamaa, Tomi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Doctoral Programme in Philosophy, Arts and Society
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2021-10-15
Language: sv
Belongs to series: Nordica Helsingiensia - URN:ISSN:2242-2285
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-7496-3
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/334552
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation (article-based)
Abstract: This article-based dissertation examines the position and predicament of Finland-Swedish literature in Sweden from several perspectives and aspects. Its main focus is on contemporary literature and its reception, but it also contains historical discounts and comparisons. The compiled thesis as a whole, as well as the introduction chapter and the separate sub-studies presented in the four published scientific articles, is defined by an overall sociological perspective of literature. This means that the thesis adopts several theoretical and methodological approaches – quantitative as well as qualitative – and collects theoretical inspiration and frameworks from numerous traditions and disciplines. The introduction chapter gives a broad overview of the subject and presents the historical background of the problem of the Finland-Swedish literature’s difficulties in Sweden. It raises the question of why this matter is crucial for the Finland-Swedish literature, and, by extension, how the problem is thought to be connected to the survival chance of the minority per se. The introduction chapter also elaborates on the methodological and theoretical points of view of the articles, as well as summarizes and discusses the results of the studies. Following Charlotta af Hällström-Reijonens concept “the Swedish publisher-argument”, I examine in Article 1 and Article 2 how authors Ulla-Lena Lundberg and Lars Sund, respectively, relate to an perceived ignorance in Sweden of the Finland-Swedish minority and of Finland as a bilingual nation in general. In narratological close-readings, using the theoretical findings of Jonathan Culler in his essay “The Novel and the Nation”, I argue that both Lundberg and Sund use this unawareness as themes in their novels, and that the novels addresses not one particular, but different categories of readers – both national and international – at the same time but in different manners. Furthermore, I analyse the reception of the novels in Swedish and Finnish newspapers. While the perspective in Article 1 and Article 2 is qualitative, a quantitative approach is used in Article 3. Here I map the publishing of Finland-Swedish literature in sub-editions by Swedish book publishers during the years 2000–2016. 6 Taking into account a widespread discourse claiming that Finland-Swedish literature has had a hard time passing the threshold to the Swedish market in recent years compared to earlier years, I chart the statistics of the publication year by year and make comparisons with historical numbers. I also map statistics of the actual allocation of genres among the publication in Swedish sub-editions of Finland-Swedish literature. Article 4 combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. Here I investigate the representation of Finland-Swedish literature in literary histories of Swedish literature, by mapping out the actual space and proportion of the Finland-Swedish literature by counting pages and lines. This is followed by close readings to understand how this literature is represented in the works. I examine how “methodological nationalism”, a theoretical concept picked up by the humanities from social sciences, operates explicitly as well as implicitly in the literary histories, and I analyse its implications for the representation of the Finland-Swedish literature. Altogether the dissertation’s findings and conclusions draw a complex and compounded picture of the position and predicament of Finland-Swedish literature in Sweden. It refutes several myths and assumptions in the widespread historical discourse concerning Finland-Swedish literature’s presuppositions and status in Sweden. It shows in reality how certain novels manage to address different kinds of readers at the same time but in different ways, that literary critics in Swedish newspapers tend not to be bothered by the language in the novels which contains fennicisms and other deviations from the Swedish language used in Sweden, that the amount of books published in sub-editions in Sweden seems to not have decreased in recent years, but that Swedish publishers tend to go for authorships that are already established and acknowledged home in Finland, and that the representation of Finland-Swedish literature in literary histories in Sweden is surprisingly good counting the actual space in proportion to the space of the Swedish literature from Sweden, but also that Finland-Swedish literature, while included in the works, also in the same time is excluded from the main Swedish literary canon by being placed in what I call a kind of “cultural preserves”, separated from the Swedish majority literature in the literary histories. Key words: Finland-Swedish literature, the Swedish publisher-argument, Swedish ignorance, sociology of literature, methodological nationalism, literary reception, reception studiesSammanläggningsavhandlingen, som består av fyra artiklar och en kappa, undersöker den finlandssvenska litteraturens position och predikament i Sverige ur flera olika perspektiv. I fokus ställs de sentida förhållandena, men tidigare, historiska förhållanden beaktas också. Avhandlingen som helhet präglas av ett övergripande litteratursociologiskt anslag. Såväl kvalitativa som kvantitativa metoder tas i bruk, och teoretisk inspiration hämtas från flera håll och olika ämnesdiscipliner. I kappan redogörs för den historiska bakgrunden till avhandlingens problemområde; varför den finlandssvenska litteraturens position och predikament i Sverige har varit och är en så viktig fråga för den finlandssvenska språkgruppen, och varför problematiken är så delikat. I Artikel 1 respektive 2 undersöker jag hur författarna Ulla-Lena Lundberg och Lars Sund i förhåller sig till en upplevd sverigesvensk okunskap om det finlandssvenska, och argumenterar med hjälp av narratologiska närläsningar hur denna okunskap tematiseras i varsin av deras romaner och hur romanerna kan sägas rikta sig till olika läsargrupper. Vidare undersöker jag hur finlandismer används i romanerna och hur recensenter i sverigesvensk respektive finlandssvensk press reagerar på språkbruket i verken. Artikel 3 utgörs av en kvantitativ undersökning, där jag kartlägger utgivningen av finlandssvensk litteratur i sverigesvenska delupplagor åren 2000–2016, och gör vissa jämförelser med hur utgivningen såg ut under en tidigare period. I Artikel 4 undersöker jag den finlandssvenska litteraturens utrymme, position och representation i litteraturhistoriska översiktsverk som behandlar svensk litteratur. Jag undersöker hur ”metodologisk nationalism”, ett teoretiskt koncept hämtat från sociologisk forskning, opererar både explicit och implicit i de litteraturhistoriska verken, och analyserar vad detta i sin tur innebär för hur den finlandssvenska litteraturen representeras i verken. Avhandlingens resultat ger en komplex och sammansatt bild av den finlandssvenska litteraturens position och predikament i Sverige. Framför allt vederlägger slutsatserna flera myter och antaganden som gjort sig gällande i den under halvtannat sekel pågående diskussionen om den finlandssvenska litteraturens förutsättningar och svårigheter att nå ut i Sverige.
Subject: nordisk litteratur
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