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"Mörkret har förebådats med mörker": En läsning av tomheten i Christine Falkenlands Blodbok
Södertörn University College, School of Gender, Culture and History.
2010 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis has two purposes: (1) to analyze the emptiness in Blodbok by Christine Falkenland, and (2) to analyze my own reading of the same book. I have chosen to focus on how emptiness is expressed through the body, the language and the place in Blodbok, because of the deep impact these seem to have on the emptiness. The thesis discusses what kind of emptiness that is described, what it does to me as a reader, and how it is connected to other works by Falkenland. Cultural politics of emotions by Sara Ahmed, Uses of literature by Rita Felski and Pouvoirs de l’horreur by Julia Kristeva together form the theoretical framework.

Blodbok is a poetry collection, about the loss of a mother. The first part of the thesis shows how emptiness is connected to the borders of the body. When the borders of the body are solid, emptiness is expressed trough the I’s will to pass these borders, to become a part of the mother or at least less lonely. When emptiness surround the I her body becomes indistinct and borderless, which makes the emptiness take place both inside and outside the body. The indistinctness of the body also leads to confusions between the body of the mother and the body of the daughter (the I), which also implies an uncertainness about the limit between life and death. This uncertainness becomes ‘sticky’, and I experience my own body being more borderless than before, and threatened by the death in the same manner as the bodies in the book. Emptiness also takes place as a part of the language in Blodbok, because of its inability to describe the feelings of the I. Though, in what I have called the simple language, for example clichés, the I find a way to express some of the despair, loss and fear that she feels. As a reader I find it very releasing when the I manage to express the emptiness in words. Even if loss is described I feel satisfaction while reading, because I recognize myself in the feelings of the I. I find the text being a witness to a horrible feeling and by functioning as a witness the poem moves the feeling from inside of me, to the outside. The place in Blodbok is connected to emptiness by being the place where life meets death. It is in this place the I circulate, and the emptiness and death is described again and again through the circulation. The place becomes the centre of the book, it is at the same time the beginning and the end. The thesis also shows how the emptiness in Blodbok corresponds to emptiness in other works by Falkenland.

The emptiness is Blodbok isn’t empty; it is filled with death, horror, loneliness, love, mourning and loss. This emptiness ‘sticks’ to me as a reader. By picturing an in many ways indescribable emptiness, Blodbok manages to give me a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of being filled.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 82 p.
Keyword [en]
Falkenland, Blodbok, emptiness, reading, reader, Ahmed, Felski, Kristeva
Keyword [sv]
Falkenland, Blodbok, tomhet, läsning, läsare, Ahmed, Felski, Kristeva
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-6417OAI: diva2:400524
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-02-28 Created: 2011-02-24 Last updated: 2011-05-16Bibliographically approved

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