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Gyllenstens radikala metafiktion
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2007 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, E-ISSN 2002-3871, Vol. 128, p. 176-232Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ingeborg Löfgren, Gyllenstens radikala metafiktion. (The Radical Metafiction of Gyllensten.)

Lars Gyllensten (1921–2006) is often purported to be a role-playing author who hides behind his fictitious characters and story-tellers, never to be caught presenting his own personal views in his literary writings. Yet Gyllensten-scholars usually put great effort into finding out just how Gyllensten is to be understood in his dialectical authorship, what he wants to express with his fictitious works, and the particular roles he uses. In this article, I want to claim that there is a severe conflict within the role-concept itself: on the one hand, it is seen as a tool to separate the empirical Gyllensten from the text’s story-teller or “author”, and, on the other, it is also seen as a method used by Gyllensten to deal with his own (personal) existential, moral and epistemological concerns. In my view, it is also due to the scholars faithful application and use of Gyllensten’s theoretical vocabulary (in particular, his self­contradictory role-concept), presented in his generous literary comments and remarks, that some of his most interesting texts have remained unacknowledged and unexplored – his radical metafiction.

This article is concerned with three tasks, carried out respectively: a theoretical examina­tion of the concepts of fiction and metafiction, a critical survey of previous author-inten­tionalist Gyllensten-research, and the demonstration and analysis of five of Gyllensten’s radically metafictional texts. Among the texts I deal with in the present study – ”Not” from Moderna myter (1949), ”Not” from Det blå skeppet (1950), ”On dit” and ”Au revoir” from Desperados (1962), ”Intervju med pseudonymen ’Sören Kierkegaard’”(1963) from Nihilistiskt credo (1964) and finally Diarium spirituale. Roman om en röst (1968) – four have previously been taken as genuine commentaries by Gyllensten, and used as such. And despite the fact that the fifth, Diarium spirituale, has been to some extent recognized as a “meta-novel”, this has not prevented it from being used as an exegetical commentary as well.

This shows how difficult, not to say impossible, it is to detect the special and complex character of radical metafiction in the works of Lars Gyllensten, while staying within the framework of the role-concept. Radical metafiction consists of mutually contradictory fea­tures, the fictional and the authentic, which mix in such a way that the complete text neither can be identified as truly fictional nor as really authentic. To the author-intentionalist in search of “keys to interpretation”, these texts will always temptingly resemble pure commen­tary – which they are not. This will be evident when we see how the radical metafiction of Lars Gyllensten actually resists the author-intentionalist readings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska litteratursällskapet , 2007. Vol. 128, p. 176-232
Keyword [sv]
Gyllensten, metafiktion
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-138848OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-138848DiVA, id: diva2:380079
Available from: 2010-12-20 Created: 2010-12-20 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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