Migrants and Literature in Finland and Sweden presents new comparative perspectives on transnational literary studies. This collection provides a contribution to the production of new narratives of the nation. The focus of the contributions is contemporary fiction relating to experiences of migration. The volume discusses multicultural writing, emerging modes of writing and generic innovations.
When people are in motion, it changes nations, cultures and peoples. The volume explores the ways in which transcultural connections have affected the national self-understanding in the Swedish and Finnish context. It also presents comparative aspects on the reception of literary works and explores the intersectional perspectives of identities including class, gender, ethnicity, ‘race’ and disability. Further, it also demonstrates the complexity of grouping literatures according to nation and ethnicity.
The case-studies are divided into three chapters: II ‘Generational Shifts’, III ‘Reception and Multicultural Perspectives’ and IV ‘Writing Migrant Identities’. The migration of Finnish labourers to Sweden is reflected in Satu Gröndahl’s and Kukku Melkas’s contributions to this volume, the latter also discusses material related to the placing of Finnish war children (‘krigsbarn’) in Sweden during World War II. Migration between Russia and Finland is discussed by Marja Sorvari, while Johanna Domokos attempts at mapping the Finnish literary field and offering a model for literary analysis. Transformations of the Finnish literary field are also the focus of Hanna-Leena Nissilä’s article discussing the reception of novels by a selection of women authors with an im/migrant background. The African diaspora and the arrival of refugees to Europe from African countries due to wars and political conflicts in the 1970s is the backdrop of Anne Heith’s analysis of migration and literature, while Pirjo Ahokas deals with literature related to the experiences of a Korean adoptee in Sweden. Migration from Africa to Sweden also forms the setting of Eila Rantonen’s article about a novel by a successful, Swedish author with roots in Tunisia. Exile, gender and disability are central, intertwined themes of Marta Ronne’s article, which discusses the work of a Swedish-Latvian author who arrived in Sweden in connection to World War II.
This collection is of particular interest to students and scholars in literary and Nordic studies as well as transnational and migration studies.Book Details
Traditionally, oral traditions were considered to diffuse only orally, outside the influence of literature and other printed media. Eventually, more attention was given to interaction between literacy and orality, but it is only recently that oral tradition has come to be seen as a modern construct both conceptually and in terms of accessibility. Oral traditions cannot be studied independently from the culture of writing and reading.
Lately, a new interdisciplinary interest has risen to study interconnections between oral tradition and book culture. In addition to the use and dissemination of printed books, newspapers etc., book culture denotes manuscript media and the circulation of written documents of oral tradition in and through the archive, into published collections. Book culture also intertwines the process of framing and defining oral genres with literary interests and ideologies. In addition to writing and reading, the study of oral traditions must also take into consideration the culture of publishing.
The present volume highlights varied and selected aspects of the expanding field of research into oral tradition and book culture. The questions discussed include the following: How have printing and book publishing set terms for oral tradition scholarship? How have the practices of reading affected the circulation of oral traditions? Which books and publishing projects have played a key role in this and how? How have the written representations of oral traditions, as well as the roles of editors and publishers, introduced authorship to materials customarily regarded as anonymous and collective?
The editors represent some of the key institutions in the study of oral traditions in Finland: the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Literature Society, and the University of Eastern Finland. The authors are folklorists, anthropologists, historians and literary historians, and scholars in information studies from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, and the United States.Book Details
This book addresses the narrative construction of places, the relationship between tradition communities and their environments, the supernatural dimensions of cultural landscapes and wilderness as they are manifested in European folklore and in early literary sources, such as the Old Norse sagas.
The first section “Explorations in Place-Lore” discusses cursed and sacred places, churches, graveyards, haunted houses, cemeteries, grave mounds, hill forts, and other tradition dominants in the micro-geography of the Nordic and Baltic countries, both retrospectively and from synchronous perspectives. The supernaturalisation of places appears as a socially embedded set of practices that involves storytelling and ritual behaviour. Articles show, how places accumulate meanings as they are layered by stories and how this shared knowledge about environments can actualise in personal experiences.
Articles in the second section “Regional Variation, Environment and Spatial Dimensions” address ecotypes, milieu-morphological adaptation in Nordic and Baltic-Finnic folklores, and the active role of tradition bearers in shaping beliefs about nature as well as attitudes towards the environment. The meaning of places and spatial distance as the marker of otherness and sacrality in Old Norse sagas is also discussed here.
The third section of the book “Traditions and Histories Reconsidered” addresses major developments within the European social histories and mentalities. It scrutinizes the history of folkloristics, its geopolitical dimensions and its connection with nation building, as well as looking at constructions of the concepts Baltic, Nordic and Celtic. It also sheds light on the social base of folklore and examines vernacular views toward legendry and the supernatural.Book Details
This volume considers the linguistic borders between languages and dialects, as well as the administrative, cultural and mental borders that reflect or affect linguistic ones; it comprises eight articles examining the mental borders between dialects, dialect continua and areas of mixed dialect, language ideologies, language mixing and contact-induced language change. The book opens with Dennis R. Preston’s review article on perceptual dialectology, showing how this field of study provides insights on laymen’s perceptions about dialect boundaries, and how such perceptions explain regional and social variation. Johanna Laakso problematizes the common notion of languages as having clear-cut boundaries and stresses the artificialness and conventionality of linguistic borders. Vesa Koivisto introduces the Border Karelian dialects as an example of language and dialect mixing. Marjatta Palander and Helka Riionheimo’s article examines the mental boundaries between Finnish and Karelian, demonstrated by the informants when recalling their fading memories of a lost mother tongue. Niina Kunnas focuses on how speakers of White Sea Karelian perceive the boundaries between their language and other varieties. Within the framework of language ideology, Tamás Péter Szabó highlights the ways in which linguistic borders are interactionally (co)constructed in the school environment in Hungary and Finland. Anna-Riitta Lindgren and Leena Niiranen present a contact-linguistic study investigating the vocabulary of Kven, a variety lying on the fuzzy boundary of a language and a dialect. Finally, Vesa Jarva and Jenni Mikkonen approach demographically manifested linguistic boundaries by examining the Old Helsinki slang, a mixture of lexical features derived from Finnish and Swedish. Together, the articles paint a picture of a multidimensional, multilingual, variable and ever-changing linguistic reality where diverse borders, boundaries and barriers meet, intertwine and cross each other. As a whole, the articles also seek to cross disciplinary and methodological boundaries and present new perspectives on earlier studies.Book Details
Internationally, the case of early modern Sweden is noteworthy because the state building process transformed a locally dispersed and sparsely populated area into a strongly centralized absolute monarchy and European empire at the beginning of the 17th century. This anthology provides fresh insights into the state-building process in Sweden. During this transitional period, many far-reaching administrative reforms were carried out, and the Swedish state developed into a prime example of the early modern ‘powerstate’. The contributors approach Sweden’s rise to greatness from the point of view of personal agency. In early modern studies, agency has long remained in the shadow of the study of structures and institutions. This novel approach enables us to expose the difficulties, setbacks and false steps that the administration had to deal with. State building was a more diversified and personalized process than has previously been assumed. Numerous individuals were also crucially important actors in the process, and that development itself was not straightforward progression at the macro-level but was intertwined with lower-level actors.
Each chapter in this volume employs partially different methods depending on the source material and subject. This means that both qualitative and quantitative material is combined, different ways of making sense of it (i.e. research traditions) are brought together and a multi-method design is used in analyzing source material. One of the central methods is the systematic use of previous biographical research. We want to give the individuals and their actions under discussion a background that reflects the contemporary structures of individual life cycles. With the existing biographical research, it is possible to create a comprehensive set of data that provides the general outlines of individual lives or the career tracks of various estates or social groups, and even to construct collective biographies of certain groups.Book Details
This study examines the narrative tools, techniques, and structures that Marja-Liisa Vartio, a classic of Finnish post-war modernism, used in presenting fictional minds in her narrative prose. The study contributes to the academic discussion on formal and thematic conventions of modernism by addressing the ways in which fictional minds work in interaction, and in relation to the enfolding fictional world. The epistemic problem of how accurately the world, the self, and the other can be known is approached by analyzing two co-operating ways of portraying fictional minds, both from external and internal perspectives. The external perspective relies on detachment and emotional restraint dominating in Vartio’s early novels Se on sitten kevät and Mies kuin mies, tyttö kuin tyttö. The internal perspective pertains to the mental processes of self-reflection, speculation, and excessive imagining that gain more importance in her later novels Kaikki naiset näkevät unia, Tunteet, and Hänen olivat linnut.
In the theoretical chapter of this study, fictional minds are discussed in the context of the acclaimed “inward turn” of modernist fiction, by suggesting alternative methods for reading modernist minds as embodied, emotional, and social entities. In respect to fictional minds’ interaction, this study elaborates on the ideas of “mind-reading,” “intersubjectivity,” and the “social mind” established within post-classical cognitive narratology. Furthermore, it employs possible world poetics when addressing the complexity, incompleteness, and (in)accessibility of Vartio’s epistemic worlds, including the characters’ private worlds of knowledge, beliefs, emotions, hallucinations, and dreams. In regards to the emotional emplotment of fictional worlds, this study also benefits from affective narratology as well as the plot theory being influenced by possible world semantics, narrative dynamics, and cognitive narratology.
As the five analysis chapters of this study show, fictional minds in Vartio’s fiction are not only introspective, solipsist, and streaming, but also embodied and social entities. In the readings of the primary texts, the concept of embodiedness is used to examine the situated presence of an experiencing mind within the time and space of the storyworld. Fictional minds’ (inter)actions are also demonstrated as evolving from local experientiality to long-term calculations that turn emotional incidents into episodes, and episodes into stories. In Vartio’s novels, the emotional story structure of certain conventional story patterns, such as the narratives of female development and the romance plot, the sentimental novel, and epistolary fiction, are modified and causally altered in the portrayal of the embodied interactions between the self, the other, and the world. The trajectories of female self-discovery in Vartio’s novels are analyzed through the emotional responses of characters: their experiences of randomness, their ways of counterfactualizing their traumatic past, their procrastinatory or akratic reactions or indecisiveness. The gradual move away from the percepts of the external world to the excessive imaginings and (mis)readings of other minds (triggered by the interaction of worlds and minds), challenges the contemporary and more recent accounts of modernism both in Finnish and international contexts.Book Details
Gendered and sexualized abuse and other forms of violence are visibly present in the culture of the third millennium. Especially bodies that are gendered as female are – both dead and alive – objects of multiple forms of abuse and violence in the texts and imageries of contemporary culture. Men, on the other hand, are often represented as abusive towards women and as the violent gender or, as targets of other men’s violence. Structural violence has also an impact on many areas of everyday life, and it is materialized in, for example discrimination and inequality.
Gender and Violence: The Ethics and Politics of Reading scrutinizes gendered violence as a complex phenomenon of contemporary culture. The authors study the ways in which ways representations of violence can be read, viewed and received. They also discuss what kind of politics the violent representations implement and actualize, and how they affect their audience.
Gender and Violence takes a critical stance on the intersections of gender, power, and violence in literature, film, television and the internet. The analysis focuses on, for example, sci-fi, Nordic Noir and North American comedy series, poems, young adult literature (YA) and nationalist blog texts. The book presents both Finnish and international academic discussions, in which researchers in the fields of gender studies, arts and literature, and cultural studies challenge contemporary English abstract 279 understanding of gender, sexuality, power, and violence. Moreover, Gender and Violence provides tools for critical discussions on violence and in-depth scrutiny about its cost on all of us.
Gender and Violence is an anthology of academic research articles. It works well as an academic textbook, but it also provides timely and new knowledge for everyone interested in questions of gender and violence – phenomena that touch upon all of us.Book Details
During the First World War, conflicts between the people’s sacrifices and their political participation led to crises of parliamentary legitimacy. This volume compares British, German, Swedish and Finnish debates on revolution, rule by the people, democracy and parliamentarism and their transnational links. The British reform, although more about winning the war than advancing democracy, restored parliamentary legitimacy, unlike in Germany, where Allied demands for democratisation made reform appear treasonous and fostered native German solutions. Sweden only adopted Western political models after major confrontations, but reforms saw it embark on its path to Social Democracy. In Finland, competing Russian revolutionary discourses and German- and Swedish-inspired appeals to legality brought about the deterioration of parliamentary legitimacy and a civil war. Only a republican compromise imposed by the Entente, following a royalist initiative in 1918, led to the construction of a viable polity.Book Details
When Aleksis Kivi’s (1834–1872) Finnish tragedy Karkurit (‘The Escapees’) was originally published in 1867 it was considered better than his two former plays, the Kalevalaic tragedy Kullervo (1864) and the comedy Nummisuutarit (‘Heath Cobblers’, 1864). Soon these encouraging views, however, turned completely opposite. Dismissing attitudes towards Kivi’s play were dominant until the 1960s when new theatre productions made its artistic merits worthy of consideration again. The critical edition of Karkurit gives a new and more versatile image of Aleksis Kivi as a playwright and helps to understand his tragedy in the light of the changing artistic ideals of different periods and generations.
The edition contains a scholarly edited and richly annotated text of the tragedy’s first edition. Expert introductions by leading authorities illuminate the multidimensional dramaturgy of the play and reflect its relation to the European drama traditions and the socio-historical context of 19th-century Finland. In addition, the introductory articles analyse Kivi’s pioneering blank verse dialogues and discuss how Karkurit was published and performed from the 19th century up to the present day.
The appendices include, among others, versatile text-critical apparatuses, an overview of the first Swedish dramatization of the tragedy (1872) and an earlier version of the play, an excerpt that was originally published in a magazine one year prior to the first edition of the drama.
Edith – Critical Editions of Finnish Literature
Edith editions are based on scholarly analysis of manuscripts, first editions and other historical sources. They reflect and clarify Finnish literary culture for scholars, teachers and other readers interested in literature.
Songs and writings: oral and literary cultures in early-modern Finland renews the understanding of exchange between the learned culture of clergymen and the culture of commoners, or “folk”. What happened when the Reformation changed the position of the oral vernacular language to literary and ecclesiastical, and when folk beliefs seem to have become an object for more intensive surveillance and correction? How did clergymen understand and use the versatile labels of popular belief, paganism, superstition and Catholic fermentation?
Why did they choose particular song languages, poetic modes and melodies for their Lutheran hymns and literary poems, and why did they avoid oral poetics in certain contexts while accentuating it in others? How were the hagiographical traditions representing the international medieval literary or “great” tradition adapted to “small” folk traditions, and how did they persist and change after the Reformation? What happened to the cult of the Virgin Mary in local oral traditions?
The first Finnish 16th-century reformers admired the new Germanic models of Lutheran congregational hymns and avoided the Finnic vernacular Kalevala-metre idiom, while their successors picked up many vernacular traits, most notably alliteration, in their ecclesiastical poetry and hymns. Over the following centuries, the new features introduced via new Lutheran hymns such as accentual metres, end-rhymes and strophic structures were infusing into oral folk poetry, although this took place also via secular oral and literary routes. On the other hand, seventeenth-century scholars cultivated a new academic interest in what they understood as “ancient Finnish poetry”.
The book has an extensive English Summary for the international readership.Book Details