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Citizens and Nomads: The Literary Works of Matti Aikio with Emphasis on Bygden på elvenesset
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
2010 (English)In: Journal of Northern Studies, ISSN 1654-5915, no 1, 45-65 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Sami author Matti Aikio from Karasjok made his debut in 1904 in Copenhagen with King Ahab. He was one of the world’s earliest indigenous authors, and presented his first novel to the Norwegian public with In Hide in 1906. The last of a total of six novels was The Parish on the Riverbank, launched posthumously in 1929.

In this article I present a post-colonial reading of this last novel of his. My hypothesis is that he wrote his first Norwegian novel anew, but this time social success amongst the Sami population is dependent upon the conduct of Sami culture. All of his novels reflect upon different strategies at hand for members of an ethnic minority in times of an advancing European industry, economy and culture, heavily influenced by a social-Darwinist political and anthropological cosmology.

Being the first registered Sami student of Norway, while writing his novels in Norwegian, Matti Aikio developed skills as a master of mimicry. Having experienced the importance of hybridity, he studies the limits of mimicry in his novels. This is the main project of his literary work, and with tools from post-colonial literary theories, this essay discusses the author’s attitudes to the possibilities of his own ethnic culture’s survival in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University & The Royal Skyttean Society , 2010. no 1, 45-65 p.
Keyword [en]
indigenous author, Matti Aikio, master of mimicry, hybridity, post-colonial reading, survival of Sami culture
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43240OAI: diva2:412565
Available from: 2011-04-28 Created: 2011-04-25 Last updated: 2011-04-28Bibliographically approved

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