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The arranged reality

By Simon Øst Vejbæk

Abstract

Artiklen belyser, hvordan Emmanuel Swedenborgs religiøse forkyndelse manifesterer sig i August Strindbergs Inferno (1897). Det sker med udgangspunkt i spaltningen af romanens fortæller i et esoterisk og eksoterisk jeg, der læses som et ekko af tilsvarelseslæren og den spirituelle monisme, centrale aspekter i Swedenborgs De caelo et ejus mirabilius et de inferno (1758), her i en revideret udgave af Pastor W. Winsløws oversættelse Om Himlen og Dens Undere og om Helvede. På den måde bliver artiklen et forsvar for romanens bevidste iscenesættelse, der læses som et udtryk for en poetologisk (og ikke en spirituel) omvendelse. Jeg går dermed i kritisk dialog med forsker Gunnar Brandells udlægning af Swedenborgs teodicébegreb i hans Strindbergs infernokris (1950). I den forbindelse ligger det mig på sinde at anmærke, at artiklens ærinde ikke er at afvise læsninger, der kæder forfatteren Strindberg sammen med karakteren Strindberg, men i stedet at påvise det åbenlyst ekshibitionistiske som et skin beregnet på at lede læseren på vildspor.Inferno (1897) is widely read as a lamenting self-portrait in which the frantic and somewhat deranged author comes to terms with his second failed marriage and a new moralistic insight. Instead of reading the novel’s plot as having actually occurred, I argue that it is more fruitful to interpret Inferno and the main character Strindberg as symbols and manifestations of a new poetics. Emmanuel Swedenborg, the Swedish theosophist, plays a crucial role in the novel and appears as a spiritual guide for the wretched protagonist. By applying his theories of correspondences between the spiritual and material world to Inferno I seek to reveal that the distance between the narrator and protagonist has its origins in the swedenborgian monism. In this sense, the ”reality” in the novel becomes highly constructed, something the author sculpts as he sees fit, thus turning it into a mere means of manipulation. The conclusions drawn in my analysis enable a discussion with scholar Gunnar Brandell and his interpretation of the swedenborgian theodicy

Topics: Strindberg, Inferno, Swedenborg, Brandell, Strindberg, Inferno, Swedenborg, Brandell
Publisher: Aktualitet - Litteratur, Kultur og Medier
Year: 2019
OAI identifier: oai:ojs.tidsskrift.dk:article/114465
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