En himmel av sten: Willy Kyrklund och det grekiska
- Location: Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3L, Uppsala
- Doctoral student: Sjösvärd, Thomas
- About the dissertation
- Organiser: Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen
- Contact person: Sjösvärd, Thomas
The aim of this dissertation is to investigate the notion of the ‘Greek’ in the work of Willy Kyrklund [1921–2009].
Kyrklund authorship can be interpreted as a dialogue with the mythology and literature of ancient Greece. There is also the representation of Greece as both a physical and imaginary location, as well as the depiction of a modern nation. The focus of my study is on the way in which Greek mythology, Greek history, or Greece as a geographical concept function within the context of his fiction in particular.
The theoretical foundation of the analysis is divided into three sections. The first deals with philology, and philological interpretation as a model for general hermeneutics. The second examines myth, what is perceived as mythical, and which phenomena that are posed as its opposite. The third section explores the literary representation and ideological dimension of geographical space.
In Kyrklund’s early short prose collections the past is associated with suppressed desire and violence. These notions appear in Kyrklund’s fiction with a suddenness that creates a kind of rupture in the text.
The novel Polyfem förvandlad [Polyphemus metamorphosed] (1964) develops these themes in a complex arrangement of 15 intertwined episodes.
In the play Medea från Mbongo [Medea from Mbongo] (dated 1965), it is not primarily the origin of the individual subject’s genesis that is at stake, but that Western civilization. The paradoxes characterising the scenes of the play, in which a so-called civilization is demonstrated to be both violent and mythical in its nature.
In Elpënor [Elpënor] (1986), an arrangement of a short epic story and two essays, the central intertexts are the Homeric songs. Whereas the ‘fictive’ narrative appears to recount the ‘true’ story of the events depicted in the Odyssey, the paratext ruptures this and makes all readings open to doubt.
Om godheten [On Goodness] (1988) contains an important metaphor: “Arching above us is a heaven made of stone”. This can be interpreted as an expression of the inability to imagine the state of the world as nothing but created by an existing, albeit indifferent, God.