Abstract: Vältalaren Johan Henric Kellgren

(The Orator Johan Henric Kellgren)

Carina Burman, Skrifter utgivna av Avdelningen för litteratursociologi
vid Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen i Uppsala, nr 23. 1988

231 pp. Uppsala. ISBN 91-85178-17-9.
(Swedish text with a summary in English.)

This thesis deals with the prose eloquence of the Swedish author Johan Henric Kellgren (1751–1795), whose literary production has hitherto been mainly regarded in the light of his late preromantic poetry. The thesis aims to analyze his position in an older literary system, with rhetoric as a necessary basis for all language acts. Kellgren was thoroughly educated in rhetoric in school and at the University, where be also held a junior teaching post in the subject. As was common at the time, be used his literary production as credentials for a civil career. His fifteen extant prose orations, written over a time-span of twenty years, are here thoroughly analyzed from a rhetorical point-of-view. It is clearly shown that Kellgren depended on traditional rhetoric and mastered it skilfully. The speeches analysed show him in some of his social roles: as a private tutor, as a prominent member of literary orders and societies, and finally as one of the first members of the Swedish Academy. The analyses stress the relations between the social context and the speeches and it is shown that Kellgren conformed to the decorum of different occasions. Although a radical himself, be never showed himself overtly oppositional in speeches delivered in official situations. A certain individual development can be traced in his eloquence--he increasingly stresses its intellectual side and uses pathos more to illuminate that side than to move his audience.

Keywords: Academies, Education, Rhetoric