Re-Writing the Script: Gender and Community in Elin Wägner

Editor: Helena Forsås-Scott
ISBN-13: 9781909408142
Pages: 426
Published: 2014
Series: A No. 32

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Feminist, suffragist, pacifist and environmentalist, Elin Wägner was the author of a prodigious amount of journalism, political pamphlets and prose fiction as well as an acclaimed biography of Selma Lagerlöf. She belonged to the circle of women who founded the radical weekly Tidevarvet (The Epoch) and the unique Women Citizens’ College at Fogelstad.

This is the first full-length study in English of Wägner’s output, and also the first attempt to go beyond the literary histories with their emphasis on the novels and short stories and include texts representing a wide range of genres. The focus on constructions of gender and community, which are studied in relation to dominant discourses, shows a number of Wägner’s texts to be more radical than has been observed previously. Some of Wägner’s texts are found to have outlined bold alternatives to the Swedish welfare state, and the combination of gender and environmentalism in some of the late texts anticipated much more recent ecocritical works.

Helena Forsås-Scott lectures on Scandinavian literature and culture, translation, and gender studies at University College London, and has published extensively on Scandinavian literature and gender. In this thought-provoking study she places Wägner’s texts in the context of recent theory on gender and narrative.

“With Re-Writing the Script Wägner scholarship has got a standard work. Forsås-Scott has confirmed her position as the leading Wägner scholar and at the same time confirmed Wägner’s position as both important for our time and central to our understanding of the first half of the twentieth century in Sweden.”

Avain – Finnish Review of Literary Studies, 3/2013

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Elin Wägner

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Helena Forsås-Scott