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Gentagelsens verden i Inger Christensens digtning
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Culture and Aesthetics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6853-5763
2016 (Danish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The World of Repetition : A Study in the Writings of Inger Christensen (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation investigates different sorts of repetition in the text ”Watersteps” and the four central lyrical works of the Danish poet Inger Christensen (1935–2009), it, Letter in April, alphabet and Butterfly Valley. The poems are analysed through close reading against a backdrop of the philosophical investigations of repetition by Søren Kierkegaard, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida as well as the phenomenology of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and the lifeworld philosophy of the late Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger.

Inger Christensen is known for constructing different systems as framework for her texts. Repetition is a dominant element in these systems, and in her texts repetition is pervading  in her prose as well as in her poetry. The repetitions have important functions structuring the texts and creating new meanings. Using a term of Novalis you could say that they function as tools of a writer who is ”inspired by language” (”ein Sprachbrgeisterter”). The repetitions are literal (or just slightly changed) and thematical. They are nearly always not just a repetition of a former expression or theme. The investigation shows that something new is produced in the process of repeating. While repetition pushes expressions and themes forward in the texts, the signification and meaning of these are changed at the same time. The process often includes displacement and condensation supplying the text with never ending possibilities of creating new relations and new meanings.

The combination of system, repetition, and the meaning of the text shows the relationship between subject, world and language. They are independent phenomena at the same time as they are deeply involved in each other. The constant interaction and the tension between them are demonstrated in the texts both formally and semantically. Reality is suspended between them in eternal mobility; identity becomes relative. The living subject is defining and redefining itself by being part of the world mediated to it through language, and these two are in turn constantly redefined in the process of repetition. In this way the subject, and certainly the poet subject, is always expressing the world or, in reversed order, the world expresses itself through the subject.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för kultur och estetik, Stockholms universitet , 2016. , 204 p.
Keyword [en]
Inger Christensen, Danish poetry, Scandinavian poetry, repetition, modernism, phenomenology, subject, language
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-127928ISBN: 978-91-7649-382-3OAI: diva2:912018
Public defence
2016-05-20, Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Frescativägen 24, Stockholm, 10:00 (Danish)
Available from: 2016-04-27 Created: 2016-03-14 Last updated: 2016-06-02Bibliographically approved

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