Finland-Swedish writer Monika Fagerholm is one of the most important contemporary Nordic authors. Her experimental, puzzling and daring novels, such as Underbara kvinnor vid vatten (1994) and Den amerikanska flickan (2004), have attracted much critical attention. She has won several literary awards, including the Nordic prize from the Swedish Academy in 2016; her works have travelled across national and cultural borders as they have now been translated in USA, Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia. Fagerholm’s wild and visionary depictions of girlhood have long had an impact on the Nordic literary landscape; currently, she has many literary followers among young female writers and readers in Finland and Sweden. Novel Districts. Critical Readings of Monika Fagerholm is the first major study of Fagerholm’s works. In this edited volume, literary scholars explore the central themes and features that permeate Fagerholm’s works and introduce novel ways to understand and interpret her writings. The book begins with an introduction to her life, letters and the minority literature context of her writing and briefly describes the scholarship on Fagerholm’s works. After that, Finnish and Swedish scholars and experts on Fagerholm scrutinize her oeuvre in the light of up-to-date literary theory. The insights, theories and concepts of gender, feminist and girlhood studies as well as narratology, poststructuralism, posthumanism and reception studies are tested in close readings of Fagerholm’s works published between 1990 and 2012. Thus, the volume enhances and deepens the understanding of Fagerholm’s fiction and invites the attention of readers not yet familiar with her work. The articles demonstrate the multitude of ways in which literary and cultural conventions can be innovatively re-employed within 20th and 21th century literature to reveal new perspectives on contemporary Finnish and Nordic literature and ongoing cultural and social developments.
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Litteraria series.Book Details
In the mid-19th century, letters to newspapers in Finland began to condemn a practice known as home thievery, in which farm mistresses pilfered goods from their farms to sell behind the farm master’s back. Why did farm mistresses engage home thievery and why were writers so harsh in their disapproval of it? Why did many men in their letters nonetheless sympathize with women’s pilfering? What opinions did farm daughters express?
This book explores theoretical concepts of agency and power applied to the 19th-century context and takes a closer look at the family patriarch, resistance to patriarchal power by farm mistresses and their daughters, and the identities of those Finnish men who already in the 1850s and 1860s sought to defend the rights of rural farm women.
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Ethnologica series.Book Details
Films are integral to national imagination. Promotional publicity markets “domestic films” not only as entertaining, exciting, or moving, but also as topical and relevant in different ways. Reviewers assess new films with reference to other films and cultural products as well as social and political issues. Through such interpretive framings by contemporaries and later generations, popular cinema is embedded both in national imagination and endless intertextual and intermedial frameworks. Moreover, films themselves become signs to be cited and recycled as illustrations of cultural, social, and political history as well as national mentality. In the age of television, “old films” continue to live as history and memory.
In Performative Histories, Foundational Fictions, Anu Koivunen analyzes the historicity as well as the intertextuality and intermediality of film reception by focusing on a cycle of Finnish family melodrama and its key role in thinking about gender, sexuality, nation, and history. Close-reading posters, advertisements, publicity-stills, trailers, review journalism, and critical commentary, she demonstrates how The Women of Niskavuori (1938 and 1958), Loviisa (1946), Heta Niskavuori (1952), Aarne Niskavuori (1954), Niskavuori Fights (1957), and Niskavuori (1984) have operated as sites for imagining “our agrarian past”, our Heimat and heritage as well as “the strong Finnish woman” or “the weak man in crisis”. Based on extensive empirical research, Koivunen argues that the Niskavuori films have mobilized readings in terms of history and memory, feminist nationalism and men’s movement, left-wing allegories and right-wing morality as well as realism and melodrama. Through processes of citation, repetition, and re-cycling the films have acquired not only a heterogeneous and contradictory interpretive legacy, but also an affective force.
This book is part of the Studia Fennica Historica series.Book Details