Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Platsen som inte fanns. Det utopiska samhället i Viktor Rydbergs Vapensmeden
2013 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, Vol. 134, 117-150 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The place that never was: the utopian society in Viktor Rydberg's novel Vapensmeden

The dissertation of Örjan Lindberger (Prometeustanken hos Viktor Rydberg, 1938) provided an influential model for the interpretation of the poetical works of Viktor Rydberg (1828–1895). Lindberger's thesis is that Rydberg was guided by a "Promethean vision", characterized by a dualistic worldview, radical liberalism and an ambition to present utopian ideals. Support for this hypothesis was found in works from the earlier stages of Rydberg's career, but Lindberger also noted that Rydberg's later works, including the historical novel Vapensmeden (1891), did not seem to meet the Promethean standards. He therefore described them as "tragic failures", presupposing that Rydberg did stick to his earlier ambitions. His treatment of Vapensmeden is only cursory, but he suggests that one element in the novel, a community of outlaws led by a semi-mythical character, is a failed attempt to represent a utopia. This suggestion was developed by later scholars. Gösta Löwendahl (1954) expounds the utopian nature of this community in detail, establishing it as Rydberg's outline of an ideal anti-industrial society. Andreas Hedberg (2012) describes it as an utopia representing pastoral ideals and providing a testing ground for ideas critical to modernization. This paper tries to show that the utopias described by these scholars have only limited support in the novel, and that there is no evidence that Rydberg intended to present an utopian society in his novel or that contemporary readers interpreted it in that way. The conclusion is that the utopian society in Vapensmeden is a scholarly construct, generated by an over-extension of Lindberger's model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet , 2013. Vol. 134, 117-150 p.
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-236918OAI: diva2:765948
Available from: 2014-11-25 Created: 2014-11-25

Open Access in DiVA

Samlaren_2013_117-150(462 kB)133 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 462 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

In the same journal
Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning
General Literature Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 133 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 190 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link