This licentiate-thesis, Stories About a red Cottage, is an attempt to combine cultural theory with a didactic method applied to Swedish as a field of study. With the two notions intertextuality and the foreign as a starting point, I discuss the importance of how an idyllic view of Sweden affects students studying Swedish as a foreign language as part of their studies in Scandinavistics. The students are familiar with the German culture and well aware of the legends and the myths about Sweden which are distributed via German media. At the same time they are shaping new images of Sweden in the didactic interaction with the teachers. The study indicates that the encounter with a foreign culture requires preparation to question even what seems to be self-evident. Hence, the study proposes an intertextual approach when using texts for studies in foreign languages. The result also demonstrates that even if it is important that we critically analyze the stories we hear and our interpretations of them, it is as important that we demand the right to get lost in dreams, because this is where we find a part of the secret of the esthetical experience
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