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En queerstudie av Karin Boyes lyrik

This essay examines the way the recurring motifs in Karin Boye's poetry might be read as expressions of queer or subversive desire. The fact that the lyrical I is not gendered in the poems opens up for a queer reading. In adherence to Sara Ahmed's notion of desire lines and sexual orientation I discuss the spatial aspects of desire, and explore the positions and movements of the lyrical I in Boye's poetic landscape as deviations from the concept of the straight and marked path, into the queer and unknown.I trace desire in Boye's poetry mainly through the themes of nature and night, and the ways in which these phenomena deviate from the normative structures laid out by the poems. Usually the motifs of night (such as fog, shadows and darkness) are associated with the fading of the senses. The night obscures the vision of the lyrical I and wraps them in heavy silence, making them experience and desire in new ways. Through motifs related to nature Boye formulates a feminine, matriarchal myth. The lyrical I shows an erotic approach that is neither categorizing nor possessing, but instead open, organic and flower-like. Beyond the restrictive light of civilization the dark, primitive and unnamed desires roam free, reaching towards all that is nameless and new.


Camilla Wallin Bergström

Lärosäte och institution

Uppsala universitet/Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen


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