This article focuses on the autobiographical writings by Johnson connected with the image of Norrbotten, the region where the Swedish writer was born. The texts date from the 1930s to the 1960s and include the quadrilogy Romanen om Olof, essays, travelogues and the novels Romantisk berättelse and Tidens gång. Eyvind Johnson practised a form of open autobiography. He found that periodical autobiographical writing was necessary, less as a form of confession than as a way to investigate and reconsider, through the dialogue between past and present, mankind’s relationship to the world, to history and to the pursuit of truth. One’s life constitutes the best-known material at one’s disposal. In this sense, Johnson lets his individual memory interact with collective memory. The effort produces a literary image of Johnson’s roots in Norrbotten and at the same time creates a landscape and a social world. References relevant to my approach include the sociologist Maurice Halbwachs’s notion of collective memory; autobiography studies from Wilhelm Dilthey to the present time, in particular Arne Melberg’s notion of unfinished autobiography; the Swedish scholarly tradition that has examined proletarian literature and Eyvind Johnson’s works, in particular Örjan Lindberger and Birgit Munkhammar; and Daniel Chartier’s reflections on nordicity.

Eyvind Johnson’s “unfinished”, autobiographical Norrbotten

Massimo Ciaravolo
2019

Abstract

This article focuses on the autobiographical writings by Johnson connected with the image of Norrbotten, the region where the Swedish writer was born. The texts date from the 1930s to the 1960s and include the quadrilogy Romanen om Olof, essays, travelogues and the novels Romantisk berättelse and Tidens gång. Eyvind Johnson practised a form of open autobiography. He found that periodical autobiographical writing was necessary, less as a form of confession than as a way to investigate and reconsider, through the dialogue between past and present, mankind’s relationship to the world, to history and to the pursuit of truth. One’s life constitutes the best-known material at one’s disposal. In this sense, Johnson lets his individual memory interact with collective memory. The effort produces a literary image of Johnson’s roots in Norrbotten and at the same time creates a landscape and a social world. References relevant to my approach include the sociologist Maurice Halbwachs’s notion of collective memory; autobiography studies from Wilhelm Dilthey to the present time, in particular Arne Melberg’s notion of unfinished autobiography; the Swedish scholarly tradition that has examined proletarian literature and Eyvind Johnson’s works, in particular Örjan Lindberger and Birgit Munkhammar; and Daniel Chartier’s reflections on nordicity.
Writing the North of the North. Construction of Images, Confrontation of Reality and Location in the Literary Field
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Ciaravolo_Johnsons Norrbotten.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Versione dell'editore
Licenza: Accesso chiuso-personale
Dimensione 1.12 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.12 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3721009
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact