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"Strunt alt hvad du orerar": Carl Michael Bellman, ordensretoriken och Bacchi Orden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature, Rhetoric.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The 1760's and 1770's saw the emergence of numerous clubs, orders and societies in Stockholm. One of the most extraordinary expressions of this phenomenon was Carl Michael Bellman's Bacchi Orden, a series of semi-public dramatic entertainments chronicling the exploits of the members of Bacchi Orden, a fictional society enrolling several of Stockholm's most notorious drunkards and dedicated to the celebration of Bacchus. Bellman's parodic perspective stands in marked contrast to the self-professed virtuous undertakings of Stockholm's contemporary clubs and orders, whose members were recruited from the social and economic elites and professional and artisanal classes. The main purpose of the dissertation was to study the ceremonial rhetorical practices of Bacchi Orden - speeches, processions and other features designed to enhance the members' loyalty to the society's chosen ideal - and compare them to similar rhetorical traits in several orders and societies of the era in Stockholm to understand what made Bellman's parody work as an entertainment.

The dissertation consists of three chapters. The first chapter introduces Bacchi Orden as a parodic and dramatic work and the eighteenth-century associations as cultural and social institutions. The second chapter outlines the use of ceremonial rhetoric in a number of orders and societies in Stockholm contemporary with Bacchi Orden. Through a combined chronological and thematic approach, the third chapter examines recurring rhetorical patterns in Bellman's parody and the rhetorical implications these patterns might have signaled to his audicence.

The ceremonial rhetorical practices of Bacchi Orden may be interpreted as parodying rhetorical commonplaces occuring in all the examined orders' pledges to uphold certain virtues for the benefit of the Swedish nation. This system of virtues - with moderation, patriotism and diligence as cornerstones - is put to parodic use in Bacchi Orden through the different breaches of decorum Bellman allows his characters to act out in their doomed endeavors to combine ceremonial protocol and severe intoxication. As a contrast, friendly and frank companionship among the selected few is the one positive virtue that Bellman's audience can infer from his mock-society. This particular tenet became central to subsequent social clubs, which used Bellman's fiction as a template for their ceremonies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen , 2014. , 322 p.
Studia Rhetorica Upsaliensia, ISSN 1102-9714 ; 4
Keyword [en]
Carl Michael Bellman, epideictic rhetoric, clubs and societies, 18th century, ceremonies, parody
Keyword [sv]
Carl Michael Bellman, demonstrativ retorik, klubbar och sällskap, 1700-tal, ceremonier, parodi
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-214576ISBN: 978-91-506-2387-1OAI: diva2:696715
Public defence
2014-04-04, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-01-08 Last updated: 2014-04-25Bibliographically approved

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