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Det paradoxala med Runeberg som idylldiktare
2013 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, Vol. 134, 74-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The paradoxical in Runeberg's idyllic poetry

The idyll appears in Runeberg's work in two different forms: on the one hand, there are the idyllic epics Hanna and Elgskyttarne, on the other hand, we have the two cycles of poems that he entitled "Idyll and Epigram". In this paper it is argued that Runeberg has derived both of them from German poetics, in particular from Schiller's theory of the idyll.

Runeberg, following Schiller's classification of poets as naïve or sentimental aspired to be a "naïve" poet who takes his subjects from reality itself. For Schiller the idyll is a sentimental genre in which the poet creates the poetic world from an idea and retains a reflexive distance to it; however, Schiller thinks that a further division into naïve and sentimental idyllic poetry can be made. It is here suggested that while Voss's Luise and Goethe's Hermann und Dorothea served as practical examples for Runeberg's idyllic epics of contemporary life, Hanna and Elgskyttarne, the theoretical foundation for these works, of which especially the latter one has often been admired for its "realism", can be found in Schiller's notion of naïve idyll. Moreover, the title "Idyll and Epigram" seems to contradict the contents of the cycles, which consist of poems written in imitation of Serbian folk poetry. Here it is argued that Runeberg expresses with the seemingly unsuitable title his awareness of the difference between the original and the imitation: while the original folk poetry is "naïve" in the Schillerian sense, imitation of this naiveté by a "learned" poet from another culture expresses a sentimental attitude characteristic of idyllic poetry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet , 2013. Vol. 134, 74-94 p.
Keyword [en]
Runeberg, idyllic poetry, idyllic epic, naïve and sentimental poetry
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-236913OAI: diva2:765940
Available from: 2014-11-25 Created: 2014-11-25

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General Literature Studies

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