Finland, den heliga tystnadens land. Om en frusen svensk gemenskap och en drömd skandinavisk union

A1 Journal article (refereed)


Internal Authors/Editors


Publication Details

List of Authors: Claes Ahlund
Publisher: KTS
Place: Helsingfors
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Kirjallisuudentutkimuksen Aikakauslehti Avain
Volume number: 2018
Issue number: 3
Start page: 10
End page: 25


Abstract


The images of
Finland in Swedish literature after 1809 have so far attracted very little
research. As a first attempt in this field, the article concentrates on the 1840’s,
when the liberal opposition combines criticism of the lack of democracy in
Sweden with attacks on autocratic Russia. In the novel Kärlekens seger (Victorious Love, 1846) by J.
A. Kiellman-Göranson (1811‒1869), Scandinavianism is added to the
liberal program, as is the popular but false notion that most Finlanders would
prefer a political reunion with Sweden. The result is complicated, to say the
least, but characteristic of the period.



Kärlekens seger can be described as a social-adventure novel or as a
sensation novel in the tradition of Eugène Sue. The romantic plot culminates
with the happy union of three Scandinavian couples, the sly intrigues of a
Russian spy having finally been thwarted. The allegory nicely illustrates a
Scandinavian dream, where Finland appears to be included in the coveted union.
The novel’s images of Finland nevertheless reveal a conspicuous lack of
knowledge of the country, depicted as beautiful but almost empty of people and completely
lacking signs of the ongoing modernization. This is indeed a peculiar variant
of Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities”. As a consequence of a psychological
refusal to accept the new borders of 1809, this “Swedish” community includes a
group‒the Finlanders‒who are an important part of the discursive process but at
the same time unaware of their own role in it.


Last updated on 2019-19-11 at 04:54