Around the 2000s, the personal, once again, became political and a new generation of female poets has since been addressing the globalized, mediarised reality through themes such as gender, identity and the body.Through their poetry, connections are created between intimate, bodily affairs and global issues such as war and climate change as well as questions surrounding white privilege and the traces of colonialism. Among today’s female poets are Mette Moestrup, Aase Berg, Ida Börjel and Gerður Kristný.
The Welfare Society Viewed from Below
On Literary Sexual Politics in the 1930s
In 1922 the Norwegian writer Sara Cecilie Margareta Gjörwel Fabricius published her first short story – an ‘artist story’ from Paris – under the pseudonym “Cora Sandel”. Although she lived in Sweden for the rest of her life, she continued to write in Norwegian.Her female and male characters are more likely to be complete contrasts than loving couples. The tension in her texts is found in the force-field between woman and man. Time and again, Cora Sandel depicts the man as seen through the woman’s eyes. Cora Sandel had a sense for transgressing genre. A number of her prose works have the vigour of drama while, at the same time, the poetic idiom is inherent in the detail, in the use of rhythm and language parallels, and in the imagery. The papers she left behind include poems and drafts of plays.Cora Sandel has been called writer of ‘the unsaid’. The underlying irony and the deeper truths between the lines – together with her ability to create low-key but also defiantly optimistic women – make her texts so good.
The far too rapid and crude modernisation and urbanisation of Iceland had psychological consequences and caused cultural upheavals. The Icelandic women writers of the period 1930-1965 attempted to analyse the processes they were exposed to, and attempted to trace connections back and forth in time in order to find a meaning in their strange daily lives.Many issues were discussed by women during those years, in a rejection of the post-war ideology of women as carers and housewives. There were also many small out-bursts of frustration and opposition to the arrogance and obvious misogyny of the male literary elite. But the arrogance and contempt nevertheless had an effect, and the younger women’s literature of the 1950s and 1960s is often characterised by caution, distance, and self-censorship. Ambitious debuts were few and far between, and the women’s novels became in general shorter, sparer – every single word was carefully weighed.The short stories of Unnur Eiríksdóttir, Drífa Viðar, and Ásta Sigurðardóttir are all marked by linguistic self-awareness, formal inventions, and absurd or grotesque touches. Modernism was emerging, and it was the young urban women who prepared the way for it.