Taking place. An introduction to the concept of place and its literary potential
The article is an introduction to the concept of place and its literary potential. It begins by pointing out the actuality of the concept in present research and by asking why, in our modern, globalised, world, it seems to be of special importance to reflect on place. Subsequently, the perspective is traced back in time and the article investigates the philosophical history of the concept of place as well as its close relation to the phenomenological tradition. Hereafter, related concepts such as space and non-place are brought into focus, and the role of place in ordinary language is briefly commented on in connection with a discussion about the fundamental meaning of place in our lives. As its last point, the article deals with the relationship between place and literature by discussing different ways of treating this field and by indicating the potential lying in an approach to literature founded on place.
Lyrics for ceremonious occasions and a new-found handwritten epithalamion in the Uppsala University Library from 1703 by Johan Runius
The article is about a new-found handwritten epithalamion by Johan Runius (1679–1713) in Uppsala University Library – a manuscript that has not previously been researched. This discovery is probably unique as an extant handwritten epithalamion with drawings of emblematic details such as clouds, columns, a coat of arms, and so on. The text of this wedding poem has been published in Dudaim, Runiuss posthumously published collection of poems, and is given here in an appendix to the article. Compared to the original, the text in the printed collection of poems differs in some detail, and this is discussed. In addition to the presentation of the original epithalamion, some of the general topoi of this new-found work are analysed in the light of the history of wedding poems and previous research. Topoi in other wedding poems by Runius, in contemporary writings in poetics as well as in wedding poetry of other poets during the Swedish empire, »stormaktstiden», are used in the analysis.
What is left of poetry. On the entombment of poetry in Stéphane Mallarmés and Per Højholts works
This article shows how Per Højholt, the Danish writer, tried to come to terms with the poetics of Stéphane Mallarmé in his late poems. In 1989, Højholt returns to poetry, after having written prose narratives for most of the 1980s. He returns to himself as a poet as well as to Mallarmé, despite the fact that in Intethedens grimasser (The Grimaces of Nothingness) he had broken with Mallarmé. At first sight, it looks as if in 1972 Højholt abandons Mallarmés poetry as an ideal, but on reading the later poems carefully it is noticeable that they, more or less unconsciously, still contain elements from Mallarmé, especially elements associated with a poetics of the so-called tombeaux poems. What Mallarmé and Højholt still have in common is a utopian ambition to entomb poetry as such.
The Swan Song of National Literary -History?
Danish literary history is the term for a long tradition in Danish literary science, and Dansk litteraturs historie (1–5, 2006–2009) is the latest attempt in this old and glorious custom. With only a few exceptions, the period 1700 to 1920 is shown to be a repetition of the canonical traditions already founded at the beginning of the 19th century. The period from 1920 to 2000 is better and more innovatively represented, but it is difficult to overlook the stream of names and titles. The lack of a consistent conception in this literary history as a whole is a major problem. Apart from the chapters on the Middle Ages, the volumes are concentrated exclusively on the local literary traditions. Literature written outside Denmark appears only under a comparative point of view. Globalisation and glocalisation are mentioned only sporadically. The worldwide web and the IT-based new literary experiments are not analysed in these volumes. This article discusses these canonical and nationalistic approaches in the traditions of the national literary history and asks for a radical re-thinking, indeed new-thinking, of the field.