Anna Tomi: ”The Utopia of the Borderland: Gunnar Ekelöf’s and Hagar Olsson’s Karelian Pilgrimages”
- Datum: –16.00
- Plats: Engelska parken 6-0022
- Arrangör: Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen
- Kontaktperson: Paula Henrikson
Högre seminarium i litteraturvetenskap
Anna Tomi, PhD Candidate, UC-Berkeley: ”The Utopia of the Borderland: Gunnar Ekelöf’s and Hagar Olsson’s Karelian Pilgrimages”
In the interwar period, and especially after the death of Edith Södergran, Finland-Swedish modernism’s pioneering voice, pilgrimages to Karelia shaped literary imagination in both Finland and Sweden. This paper examines Gunnar Ekelöf’s and Hagar Olsson’s expeditions to the region, presented by both writers as a mythical borderland in space and time. Attempting a revitalization of modernity’s spiritual bankruptcy, pilgrimage represents a ritual journey into an empathetic relationship with the past, while simultaneously participating in the production of modernism’s own original myth. The trope’s deployment illuminates how national belonging, religious experience, and the symbolic are negotiated through recourse to the utopian site, and furthermore sheds light on modernism’s problematic identification with the marginal.