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Humanities 2018, 7(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040096

In the Traces of Modernism: William Faulkner in Swedish Criticism 1932–1950

Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, Göteborgs Universitet, 412 56 Göteborg, Sweden
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 27 September 2018 / Accepted: 30 September 2018 / Published: 4 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nordic and European Modernisms)
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Abstract

This article focusses the reception of William Faulkner in Sweden from the first introduction in 1932 until the Nobel Prize announcement in 1950. Through reviews, introductory articles, book chapters, forewords, and translations, the critical evaluation of Faulkner’s particular brand of modernism is traced and analyzed. The analysis takes theoretical support from Hans Robert Jauss’ notion of ‘horizon of expectations’, Gérard Genette’s concept of ‘paratext’, and E.D. Hirsh’s distinction between ‘meaning’ and ‘significance’. To pinpoint the biographical and psychologizing tendency in Swedish criticism, Roland Barthes’s notion of ‘biographeme’ is introduced. The analysis furthermore shows that the critical discussion of Faulkner’s modernism could be ordered along an axis where the basic parameters are form and content, aesthetics and ideology, narrator and author, and writer and reader. The problematics adhering to these fundamental aspects are more or less relevant for the modernist novel in general. Thus, it could be argued that the reception of Faulkner in Sweden and Swedish Faulkner criticism epitomize and highlight the fundamental features pertaining to the notion of ‘modernism’, both with regard to its formal and content-based characteristics. View Full-Text
Keywords: William Faulkner; Swedish literary criticism; Nobel Prize; modernism; reception history; aesthetics and ideology; meaning and significance William Faulkner; Swedish literary criticism; Nobel Prize; modernism; reception history; aesthetics and ideology; meaning and significance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jansson, M. In the Traces of Modernism: William Faulkner in Swedish Criticism 1932–1950. Humanities 2018, 7, 96.

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