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"Ja, denna stig är stigarnas stig": Taoistiska influenser i Vilhelm Ekelunds verk
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, French.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1332-5467
2010 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, Vol. 131, 195-212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article I show how Taoist philosophy has influenced the Swedish poet, essayist and aphorist Vilhelm Ekelund. I note that the author mentions the Taoist philosophers Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu and discusses their ideas on a couple of occasions in his later works (Atticism – Humanism, 1943; Plus salis–, 1945). Examples of such explicit influence can also be found in Ekelund’s private notebooks, posthumously published in two volumes: Hemkomst och flykt (1972) and Ur en scholaris’ verkstad (1974). I argue that Taoist philosophy implicitly influenced the Swedish author as early as the second part of the 1910’s – when he started to emphasize such principles as moderation, composure, dispassion and non-desire in his writing. I also discuss other important ideals which Ekelund shared with the Taoist philosophers, such as poverty, humility, simplicity and dishonour. Finally, I see a parallel in the anti-intellectual aspects of Taoist thinking and Ekelund’s use of the term misologi (misology), a word which often has positive connotations in his works. In Ekelund’s prose, as well as in the famous Taoist text Tao Te Ching, excessive intellectualism is frequently criticized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska litteratursällskapet , 2010. Vol. 131, 195-212 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-5678OAI: diva2:520386
Available from: 2012-06-28 Created: 2011-08-18 Last updated: 2015-07-20Bibliographically approved

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