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Utopi i krigets skugga: Erla Hovilainen i ett österbottniskt fiskesamhälle
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
2013 (Swedish)In: Horisont, ISSN 0439-5530, Vol. 60, no 4, 6-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Erla Hovilainen-Husgafvel (b. Lund), a Finland-Swede ethnologist (1907-1984) returned in June-July 1944 to the small fishing community of Tankar, an island in the outer archipelago off the city of Kokkola/Karleby, after many previous visits there, to finish the research for her book Ro, ro till fiskeskär ('Row, Row to the Fishermen's Island') that appeared the next year. Her documentary consists of two parts: the history of fishing on the island with the eighteenth-century wooden church and the lighthouse as its major narrative icons, and her interviews with three fishermen and their family members. Although the country is at war, it is only indirectly present in her account. I read Hovilainen's chronicle as an allegory of an ideal utopian world, where the politics is at the hands of the people, where pragmatism overrules both religious and secular conventions, where language is free from hierarchical structures. Hovilainen, I explain, transliterates the speech forms of her informants into distinct personal voices. It is an allegory of a community that should exist.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vasa: Horisont , 2013. Vol. 60, no 4, 6-12 p.
Keyword [en]
Finnish wars, allegory, utopia
National Category
General Literature Studies Ethnology
Research subject
Ethnology; Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-84378OAI: diva2:683476
Available from: 2014-01-03 Created: 2014-01-03 Last updated: 2014-02-04Bibliographically approved

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