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Hjälten mellan myt och historia: en studie av Torgny Segerstedts liv efter döden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History of Science and Ideas.
2017 (Swedish)In: Historisk Tidskrift (S), ISSN 0345-469X, Vol. 137, no 2, p. 195-227Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Hero between myth and history: A study of Torgny Segerstedt’s posthumous reputation

History and myth are always entangled in hero-worship. Historical analysis needs to understand this entanglement and to develop clearer means of demarcation between history and myth. Temporality, i.e. the hero’s connection to time, is a methodological device that can be used to separate historical and mythical understandings of heroism. Historical time is fundamentally contingent because it divides time into discrete non-related contexts, whereas mythological time is stable and regenerative and thereby offers up objects for identification.

This article studies the posthumous reputation of the scholar and publicist Torgny Segerstedt (b. 1876) from 1945 to present times. During the Second World War Segerstedt was arguably Sweden’s most explicit opponent to Nazism. But his standing was very ambiguous since the only course of action embedded in his program was Sweden´s involvement in the war. The study concludes that both historical and mythological understandings of Segerstedt have existed from his obituaries and onwards, but that the general tendency is for the historical understanding of Segerstedt, including academic research, to completely give way to myth. Academic dissertations dealing with Segerstedt have been largely ignored in public discourse. In contrast, mythical understandings of Segerstedt have been supported by two privately funded foundations. It seems that from the 1990’s, Segerstedt has become the ideal object of identification for many journalists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm, 2017. Vol. 137, no 2, p. 195-227
Keywords [en]
Swedish history 1945–2000, myth, temporality, hero-worship, Torgny Segerstedt
National Category
History and Archaeology
Research subject
History; History of Sciences and Ideas
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-334813ISI: 000404091500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-334813DiVA, id: diva2:1160762
Note

Title in WoS: Hero between myth and history: A study of Torgny Segerstedt’s posthumous reputation

Available from: 2017-11-28 Created: 2017-11-28 Last updated: 2018-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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