Anxiety in Nordic Literature
The project will examine how anxiety has been interpreted in a number of exemplary works in Scandinavian literature during the last three centuries.
Laufzeit01.07.2019 - laufend
The project will examine how anxiety has been interpreted in a number of exemplary works in Scandinavian literature during the last three centuries. My idea is to develop a hermeneutic theory of interpretation, which considers the various ways in which anxiety has been depicted through Scandinavian literary history. I will study manifestations of anxiety in August Strindberg’s The Father (1887) and Miss Julie (1888); Inger Christensen’s It (1969) and Alphabet (1981), and Karl Ove Knausgård’s My Struggle (2009-2011). I zero in on these authorships, since they provide periodically significant representations of anxiety from three different historical eras in three different literary genres, viz. drama, poetry and prose. Specifically, I wish to target the shift from Strindberg’s neurotic anxiety to Christensen’s existential anxiety and Knausgård’s social anxiety. I expect this project to yield insights into the conceptions of anxiety in humanities, emphasizing how a diachronic approach can contribute to a more differentiated understanding of anxiety in present-day research. The project will be able to feed into current discourses on anxiety in public debate and qualify our current conception of anxiety from a humanistic point of view