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”Du måste försöka leva dig in i min situation!” Ironi, humor och det patetiska hos Kristina Lugn
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2016 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, E-ISSN 2002-3871, Vol. 137, 31-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

“You have to understand my situation!” Irony, humour and the pathetic in the works of Kris­tina Lugn (”Du måste försöka leva dig in i min situation!” Ironi, humor och det patetiska hos Kristina Lugn)

Use of irony has long been conceived as the primary characteristic of the Swedish author Kristina Lugn (1948–). In this article I treat irony as an important feature in Lugn’s literary texts — but I further argue, with support from claims made by the author, that the role of irony is significantly lesser in Lugn’s later authorship, which instead tries to establish “humour” as a mode of reception. This switch also corresponds (but is not identical) to Lugn’s change from writing collections of poems to primarily writing plays instead. The modes of irony and humour are both effectuated through breaches of style. Two or more stylistic levels can col­lide with each other, creating dissonance between different levels of reality, or words are used in non-idiomatic senses, thus creating unexpected connections and revealing several layers of meaning. The mode of irony is primarily established through the first technique, and aims to create a distance between the event and the statement, a distance which creates room for criti­cism. The mode of humour is more often established through the second technique, and aims at empathy with the person speaking, rather than establishing distance. Likewise, this mode does not separate between apparent meaning and implied meaning. Lastly, I argue that the mode of humour, which in Lugn’s texts seems close to that of the romantics, is connected to a sort of rehabilitation of the pathetic as an affect. By humorously treating classic topics such as love, death, family conflicts and illness, Lugn is being pathetic in the classical sense of arousing strong emotions, while at the same time — by inserting stylistic switches between the poeti­cally serious and the prosaically mundane — being able to view the pathetic, in the sense of “overtly emotional”, in a humorous light.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska litteratursällskapet , 2016. Vol. 137, 31-57 p.
Keyword [en]
Kristina Lugn, humour, irony, the pathetic, breach of style
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319229OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-319229DiVA: diva2:1086361
Available from: 2017-04-02 Created: 2017-04-02 Last updated: 2017-05-24Bibliographically approved

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