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Olof Högbergs Den stora vreden och skapandet av Norrland
2015 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, Vol. 136, 260-286 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Olof Högberg’s Den stora vreden [The Great Wrath] and the Invention of Norrland (Olof Högbergs Den stora vreden och skapandet av Norrland)

In this article I analyse Olof Högberg’s novel Den stora vreden [The Great Wrath], published in Sweden in 1906. The novel has been regarded as one of the first novels from the northern part of Sweden. I argue that Högberg used the novel in order to invent a cultural identity for Norrland, in much the same way as contemporary postcolonial literature does. Högberg, and other authors from the northern parts of Sweden in the early 20th century, reacted against the exploitation of the north by companies from the south of Sweden. The north had abundant natural resources: big forests, ore fields and great rivers, but was regarded as a wilderness or a wasteland with few inhabitants. In opposition to this view, Högberg wanted to incorporate stories, tales and legends from the north into his novel in order to show that the Norrlandic people had a history; they had an origin and a cultural identity. But Högberg also wanted to create an imagined community, a nation of Norrland, with his novel. To achieve this, he turned to the genre of the adventure novel. His main characters were representatives of different groups in Norrland. There was Svarte-Mickel, representing the common man; there was Emanuel Bredman, a representative of the indigenous Sami people; and there was Mäster-Sara, a representative of the strong woman of the north. The heroes followed the pattern of the adventure novel. They all had to leave their homes and go into the world, but returned in order to resurrect the nation of Norrland. In this way Högberg’s novel was about inventing Norrland as a nation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska litteratursällskapet , 2015. Vol. 136, 260-286 p.
Keyword [en]
Olof Högberg, literature of Norrland, the adventure novel, postcolonial literature
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-280499OAI: diva2:911018
Available from: 2016-03-10 Created: 2016-03-10

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Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning
General Literature Studies

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