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"Apparaten som bättre vet". Romanisering och problembiografi i Birgitta Trotzigs Sjukdomen
2013 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, Vol. 134, 161-197 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study "'Apparaten som bättre vet'. Romanisering och problembiografi i Birgitta Trotzigs Sjukdomen" ("'The apparatus which better knows'. Novelization and Problem-biography in Birgitta Trotzigs Sjukdomen") is devoted to a novel by Birgitta Trotzig. The primary aim is to explore the intertextual dialogue with psychiatric discourse actualized in the novel Sjukdomen. The study is based on Michel Foucault's thesis that psychiatry is reason's monologue regarding insanity. The main focus is on two topics in psychiatric discourse, first that the patient is silent in the psychiatric journal and second that the patient in psychiatric discourse is represented in relation to diagnosis. The novel is then read in relation to psychiatric discourse.

The reception of Trotzig's novel has placed the narrating partly inside the characters, using terms like internalization.Contrary to the earlier research— which has seen Trotzig's narrative voice as solidary to the characters in her novels — this study emphasizes that the narrating can be read as an intertextual relation with psychiatric discourse, meaning that the voice comes from "above" and from the "outside" with no solidarity with its characters. Further,the characters has been read and interpreted as perverted and mentally ill. The study does not emphasize the mental illness of the characters, but shows that the novels uses a metamorphic theme distorting the psychiatric discourse which means the characters can be seen as a critical and comic comment on how the human being is narrated in psychiatric discourse — the novels actualize the psychiatric discourse in the story but distorts it in the narrative by using the metamorphic theme.The last part of the study focuses on what the title of the novel Sjukdomen (The Sickness) refers to, arguing that the title does not refer to the characters or the society in Sjukdomen but to the psychiatric discourse which is actualized in the novel.The result of the study shows that the novels can be read as critical comment to psychiatric discourse, and as a struggle to distort the discourse's language about human beings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet , 2013. Vol. 134, 161-197 p.
Keyword [en]
Birgitta Trotzig, Michel Foucault, psychiatry, discourse, power, psychiatric case history, problem-biography, Mikhail Bakhtin
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-236935OAI: diva2:765954
Available from: 2014-11-25 Created: 2014-11-25

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Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning
General Literature Studies

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