Documentarism in Scandinavian Literature


Documentary literature became an international phenomenon on the cultural and political scene in the 1960s and 1970s. From the American New Journalism in works by such writers as Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe to the German Industriereportagen by Günther Wallraff and others, documentarism presented a variety of controversial interplays between facts and fiction labeled as ‘faction,' ‘fables of fact' or the like.
Scandinavian literature made important and unique contributions to this international movement, and Documentarism in Scandinavian Literature is the first comprehensive volume ever published on the historical significance and future implications of these Nordic dimensions of documentarism and their international context. The volume is centered on Swedish documentary literature in the 1960s and 1970s — and on such major writers as Per Olov Enquist, Sven Lindqvist, Sara Lidman, and Per Olov Sundman — but the powerful voices of Danish writer Thorkild Hansen and Norwegian novelist Dag Solstad are also heard in its critical concert.
The diversity of Documentarism in Scandinavian Literature is further enhanced by surveys and analyses of the historical background for more recent works and activities, and by theoretical inquiries into the epistemological status of documentarism, its theoretical, narrative, and theatrical devices, its predominant genres and links to other modes of mass communication, and its political affiliations and implications.
For readers already familiar with its subject matter Documentarism in Scandinavian Literature offers an opportunity to revisit and recontextualize a crucial moment in their recent cultural past. For readers who have yet to be exposed to documentary works of fiction, the volume presents a timely theoretical, historical, and critical introduction to the key problematics and potentials of their novel field of interest. Whether viewed as part of the past or part of the present, documentarism remains an intellectual challenge, which this volume is aimed at addressing.
Documentarism in Scandinavian Literature is edited by two Scandinavian scholars living abroad, and its essays are written by senior and junior scholars and critics from Scandinavia, Europe, and America; an interview with Per Olov Enquist and an autobio-graphical piece by Sven Lindqvist complete the volume.

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Preface. Sven H. ROSSEL: Scandinavian Documentary Fiction — An Introduction. HISTORY AND THEORY OF DOCUMENTARY LITERATURE. Rolf YRLID: The Elusive Documentary: The Swedish Documentary Movement with an Attempt at a Definition. Beata AGRELL: Documentarism and Theory of Literature. Jonas INGVARSSON: Media and the Documentary Strategies. Clas ZILLIACUS: the Act of Quotation — Motives in Report Literature. Philippe BOUQUET: The Swedish Report School and the Renewal of Working-Class Literature. DOCUMENTARY LITERATURE IN SWEDEN. Pascale VOILLEY: An Evening with Per Olov Enquist. Ross SHIDELER: Zola and the Problem of the Objective Narrator in P.O. Enquist and P.C. Jersild. Jean-Marie BRETAGNE: The Lost Balance in Per Olov Enquist's Documentary Narratives Eva EKSELIUS: Melancholy and the Loss of a Metaphysical Order in Per Olov Enqvuist's Novels and Plays. Gunilla ANDERMAN: The Night of the Tribades: Fact and Fiction in Grez-sur-Loing. Eqil TÖRNQVIST: Playwright on Playwrights — Per Olov Enquist's Strindberg and Lars Norén's O'Neill. Poul HOUE: P.O. Sundman's Knowledgeable Representations of Unknowable Man. Tatiana TCHESNOKOVA: Sara Lidman and the Art of Narration in The Tar Valley. Sven LINDQVIST: Confessions of a Documentarist. DOCUMENTARISM IN DENMARK AND NORWAY. Thomas BREDSDORFF: Documentarism as a Formal Category in Nineteenth-Century Danish Literature — Structure and Rhetoric in the Classical Novella. Mikael JALVING: Thorkild Hansen and Documentary Fiction, or: History with a Human Face. Anne HEITH: The Emergence of an Aesthetic Object — Dag Solstad's The Front Side of the Medal.