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Den läsande hjältinnan: Kön, begär och intimitet i tre romaner av Fredrika Bremer
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2018 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores fictional representations of women’s reading practices in the early novels of Fredrika Bremer. I examine these in relation to the negotiations of reading habits in Sweden and Europe during the 1830’s, particularly pertaining to questions of gender, intimacy, desire, and corporeality. The material consists of three novels (The Family H***, The Neighbours and Home), in which the motif of women’s reading plays a significant part. In the four chapters of the thesis, I analyse key aspects of gender and reading in Bremer’s novels: 1) the popular stereotype of obsessive novel reading, and how this specific practice is portrayed in relation to the duties of a wife and mother, as well as to intimacy and secrecy; 2) representations of corrupted or illicit readers, whose reading practices disturbs the confines of nineteenth-century femininity; and 3) how these characters may challenge or bypass the restrictions of gender roles through fictional engagement. The thesis argues that Bremer’s representations of women’s reading are more complex and varied than has previously been recognized, and it reveals new aspects of these representations, such as the significance of intimacy with oneself and others in Bremer’s depictions of silent reading practices, and the transgressive power of feminine empathy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 89
Keywords [en]
Fredrika Bremer, history of reading, sexuality, gender, interiority, intimacy, empathy, the reading debate
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353557OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-353557DiVA, id: diva2:1217930
Educational program
Master Programme in the Humanities - Literature
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Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-06-13 Last updated: 2018-06-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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