Skans Kersti Nilsson, Göran Tunströms Försök med ett århundrade – ett avsked till konsten (Göran Tunströms Försök med ett århundrade (Attempt with a century) — a goodbye to art)
In his posthumous book, Försök med ett århundrade (2003), Göran Tunström (1937–2000) tries to understand the rise of the modern self in the 17th century, in comparascense with the late 20th century. The aim of this study is to analyze this book in view of the ageing author’s perspective. In my opinion, retrospecting the 17th century is for Tunström, while writing his book, an attempt to sum up his life as an author from the outside.
Creativity and the relationship of the self to the divided world is a central theme in Tunström’s authorship. The blank space, or the threshold, plays an important role in the divestment of creativity. On this very spot, central spatial memories from childhood are activated.
Försök med ett århundrade tries the code of the novel, but also the codes of essay and allegory as well as the exposition of self. The book consists of stories, fragments of texts, and poetically tense passages and pictures. The amount of repetition is noticeable. In this essay Försök med ett århundrade is here read as an allegory in Benjamin’s sense.
Searching for the self is comparable to awakening and rebirth in Tunström’s authorship. In Försök med ett århundarde he tries to repeat this searching for the self a last time. The project, however, comes across as problematic, as the childhood memories from his birth house, Tunström’s creative well, seem to have drained.
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet , 2010. Vol. 131, 213-231 p.