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Tunnelbanans poetik. Rum, plats och intertextualitet i Malte Perssons Underjorden
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Language and Literature. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2018 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, E-ISSN 2002-3871, Vol. 139, p. 178-220Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A Poetics of the Underground: Space, Place and Intertextuality in Malte Persson’s Underjorden (Tunnelbanans poetik. Rum, plats och intertextualitet i Malte Perssons Underjorden)

The descent to the underworld in search of wisdom or to regain something or someone lost is a classic topos of literary history. In the context of urbanization and the technological transformation of society of the last two centuries, literary underworlds have often been re-imagined as actual and material subterranean spaces like subways, catacombs or sewers. In modernist poetry, for example, the descent to the underworld — rethought as an underground of modern transportation — has served as a spatial point of departure for reflections on poetics, on the poet’s conflictual relationship to the literary past and to his or her own society. Staged as a collection of sonnets on the Stockholm metro, Malte Persson’s Underjorden (2011) can be read as a contemporary take on this modern metamorphosis of the underworld. It can also be put forward as an example of a recurring tendency in the last few decades to link writing and literature to various urban and semi-public spaces of transit and transport, a tendency which poses significant challenges to Romantically infused ideas of literary creation as a place-bound, domestic, private and solitary activity. In this article, Persson’s Underjorden is discussed as an example of how a poetics of the underground is reflected and reconfigured in the Information Age. With perspectives from spatial theory and intertextual analysis, it is argued that two classic myths of poetic creation are contrasted and associated with underground space in Persson’s sonnet collection. Rather than opting for one of them, the self-reflective speaker of Underjorden remains playfully undecided on which side to take: is the contemporary poet a modern Orpheus or genius, creating original poetry, or an imitator, copyist and sampler, pouring from the boundless storehouse of literature?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska Litteratursällskapet , 2018. Vol. 139, p. 178-220
Keywords [en]
the underground, the underworld, poetics, space and place, Malte Persson, intertextuality
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156289OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-156289DiVA, id: diva2:1304014
Available from: 2019-04-11 Created: 2019-04-11 Last updated: 2019-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Eldelin, Emma

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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