Materiell handlekraft og økokritiske perspektiver i Markens grøde
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The Nobel-Prizewinning novel Markens Grøde (The Soil of the Earth) (1917) by Knut Hamsun has receivednew critical attention in light of the current climate crisis and the transition to the geological epoch of Anthropocene.In this paper I ask the question: What (if any)new relevancedoes the novel receivein light of our current environmental challenges?MY method to answer this question is two-folded. First I analyze language and the narrative position in the novel, and second I analyze the actor-network (ANT)with a particular perspective on material agency or «thing-power»in the novels narrative. I then address the novels reception-history, with a particularglance at recent studies that have commented the novel in light of the Anthropoceneand environmental issues.I argue thatthenovel to a very limited degree receivesany new relevance in light of the Anthropocene, andthat the limited ecological perspectives one can find in the novel, are shallow and hold littlerelevance froma modern ecocritical perspective. If the novel has anything important to tell us in light of the current environmental crisis, it is through its critical perspective on consumerism and its insistence on the universalityof humanvanity, which I show are recurringthemes in the novel. The greatest strengthand relevance of the novel today, I will argue, is its perspectives on humanity (psychological and interpersonal) rather than ecological («man in environment»). By interpreting the characters in light of their relationship with thing-power, I also show that Isak is a more complex character than other scholars have suggested.
Masteroppgave nordisk språk og litteratur NO500 - Universitetet i Agder 2019