• Casper Ammitzbøll Andersen
4. term, Danish, Master (Master Programme)
In this master’s thesis I explore the meaning, use and representation of the human body in the Danish literary period known as kropsmodernismen (directly translated to ‘bodymodernism’ or ‘bodily modernism’), in the light of a newer literary wave of bodily poetry. Literary history has already analyzed and interpreted the use and role of the human body in the light of then current theories and tendencies, but the aim of this thesis is to apply newer theories relating to the human body to see if these new theoretical perspectives can shine a new light on the periods literature and lead to a more nuanced understanding of the role of the body as a theme in the periods literature.
My theoretical basis is in new materialism and affect theory, and my methodological approach has its basis in Tobias Skiverens work Kroppens Poesis, where he tries to formulate a postcritical approach pulling on ideas and terminology from new materialism and affect theory, with slight modifications.
In the thesis I analyze selected poems from the some of the periods most famous and influential authors: Michael Strunge, Pia Tafdrup, Søren Ulrik Thomsen, and one lesser-known author Henrik S. Holck. In the analysis I focus on how the body is portrayed in terms of how it relates to the lyrical subject, the outer world and how affect transfers between body, world and subject.
After the analysis of the period’s literature, I use the same methodological approach on some selected poems from representatives of the new bodily literary movement to see how they compare and relate to each other, with the aim to emphasize the unique traits and characteristics of the body in the bodily modernism’s poetry.
In the discussion of the thesis, I reflect on the efficacy of my theoretical and methodological approach where I conclude that the approach can lead to new and interesting readings and understandings of the older bodily literature, but that it also has some minor limitations because of the different natures of the two poetic ‘traditions’.
At the end of the thesis, I concluded that there are several differences in the way the different authorships deal with the body, but that there are some overall tendencies and key characteristics for both bodily modernism and the newer bodily literature. The key differences are that in the older literature the body is viewed more positively, but it serves a lesser role in comparison to the newer literature. In the older literature the role of the body is often to experience some greater force, connectedness to nature or to feel alive, whereas in the newer literature the body is often the main focus of the poem, where the lyrical subject conveys the experience of being and having a body, which is often a negative experience.
Publication date2 Jun 2023
Number of pages73
ID: 532694292