Aase Hansen and Ellen Raae belonged to a generation of women for whom citizenship had been won, but the victory did not feel like a personal triumph. Along with writers such as Johanne Buchardt, Ellen Duurloo, children’s book author Estrid Ott, working-class writer Caja Rude, and Karen Bjerresø, they comprise a group interested in and troubled by the interplay between women’s demands on life and the new age as promise and threat.This is a group of writers whose fate in the annals of literary history has largely been one of silence.
Tag: Father-Daughter Relationships
When Sweden introduced universal suffrage in the 1920s, a number of established authors used the autobiographical genre to tell their story and forge their artistic identity. Largely due to well-established authors like Selma Lagerlöf, Mathilda Malling, Helena Nyblom, and Marika Stiernstedt, women’s autobiographies acquired greater literary status in the Sweden of the 1920s. The trend peaked in the 1940s and reflected both growing interest and greater feminine self-assuredness. At first glance, such works may appear to be simply margin notes – documentary evidence of their lives behind, alongside of, or prior to their art. Not unexpectedly, however, the autobiographies fully reflect the professions of their authors. They vary greatly, but what all these autobiographers had in common, however, was that they focused more on their writing than their personal lives. Of equal importance is that they furnish their readers with clear instructions for interpreting their works.
Swedish writer Selma Lagerlöf achieved her international breakthrough when she won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. At this point, she was already one of the most reputable and respected writers in the Nordic countries. The loss of her beloved childhood home, Mårbacka, resonates as a pain point in her work – a recurring theme that undergoes a number of variations in one novel after another. And through this essential lack in life, the enforced exile, Lagerlöf, who ostensibly had nothing left to lose, entered a world of memories and retrieved from it an original language which permeated everything she wrote, and which spoke to all social strata and to both children and adults. She wrote that she wanted to be read by all, including the farmwives in rural areas.And she still is.
Agneta Horns autobiography, which she called “Description of my wretched and much-troubled wanderings” is a ‘memory of lament’ recounting the story of a criticised, neglected, and little-loved girl who nonetheless manages to assert her will and give her opponents as good as she gets.Agneta Horns lefverne is fundamentally an account of Agneta Horn’s relationship with her father and with paternal power, of the identity as dutiful daughter that she and the times considered to be the ideal. Between the lines we can read disgreement between Agneta Horn and her stepmother, Sigrid Bielke. Objectively, the conflict revolved on the inheritance from Agneta’s father; ideologically, it revolved on Agneta Horn’s obedience to her father’s resolve.
Faithfulness was an important spiritual and moral yardstick to king’s daughter Leonora Christina: a principle on which she had to take a stand and by which posterity would judge her – for better or for worse. By means of her writing she wanted to demonstrate that she possessed the virtue of fidelity, a moral raison d´être for the seventeenth-century woman. Leonora Christina succeeded in turning faithfulness to her husband Corfitz Ulfeldt into faithfulness to herself in the roles of king’s daughter and noblewoman, exiled lady of high rank and “Cristi Korsdragerske” (a bearer of the cross of Christ). She was imprisoned for twenty-two years in the Blue Tower of Copenhagen Castle, accused of high treason.