This dissertation is a study of the Christian thematics in the novels of Christine Falkenland. It has two basic aims. First, to demonstrate how Christine Falkenland writes herself into, and becomes a distinct voice in, a Christian literary tradition, while simultaneously breaking with this tradition by staging and portraying modern people’s questioning of the Christian worldview. Second, to uncover, examine, and bring together the recurring thematics, motifs, and imagery in Falkenland’s novels. Four novels – Släggan och städet (The Hammer and the Anvil; 1996), Skärvor av en sönderslagen spegel (Fragments of a Broken Mirror; 1997), Min skugga (My Shadow; 1998) and Själens begär (The Soul’s Desire; 2000) – provide a focus for the study. The novels are not seen as separate works, but as parts of a whole; they display a notable consistency in inner as well outer composition.
The theoretical foundations of the study come together under three headings: thematics, intertextuality, and dialogism. By uncovering and mapping the occurrences of repeated symbols, motifs, and themes, a pattern can be discerned – a pattern which is characteristic for the oeuvre as a whole. When it comes to Christine Falkenland, it is obvious that the use of certain recurring words, symbols, and metaphors is connected to the thematic unity of the works. It is also clear that Christine Falkenland is connected to a rich textual tradition through her thematics. Through quotations and allusions, the Bible stands out as her principal intertext, but other sources can also be found, such as sadomasochistic erotic literature and Classical myth. The different voices in the texts are not in accord, but in constant discussion, fighting each other and pulling in opposite directions.
Falkenland’s novels display a traditionally Christian set of problems with basic theological oppositions such as heaven–earth, body–soul, and law–gospel, oppositions which can contain praise as well as lamentation. In this manner, Christine Falkenland displays a literary portrayal of an existential position in the thematics of faith and doubt: the solitary person who fights for her faith, someone who ceaselessly sings her broken hallelujah to a hidden God.
|Status||Publicerad - 2010|
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