Writing in a post-Derridean era, University of Växjö, 23th–25th October 2008
Henriette Thune: Ideology of Form in Sara Stridsberg’s Drömfakulteten (2005)
In this paper I will argue that the form of Sara Stridsberg’s Drömfakulteten (2005), which is a genuinely polyfonic novel, constitutes a 2005 feminist ideology; a dialogic feminism, through a gendered aesthetic event. To prove my point I need to draw upon what Jørgen Bruhn in Romanens tænker (2005) calls Mikhail Bakhtin's polyphonic novel theory, outlined in Dostoevsky's Poetics (1963). I will also be referring to Bakhtin's “The Problem of Content, Material and Form in Verbal Art” (ca. 1924), to relate to Bakhtin's aesthetic event; an insolvable unity of the ethical, the epistemological and the aesthetic. From the interwoven narrative threads of Drömfakulteten I will single out and focus upon what I name the narrator thread; Berättartråden, where an existensial dialogue between the narrator, explicitly referred to as Berättaren, and Drömfakulteten's heroine, the 1960s feminist icon Valerie Solanas, author of the feminist manifesto SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) (1968), takes place. Through a close reading of the development of Berättaren's and Valerie's relation at the threshold of Valerie's death, I will claim that dialogism is a basic constituent of any equal relation, and that any genuine pursuit of coming close to another human being per se needs to be dialogic. I will argue that a dialogic feminism, as constituted through the ideology of form of Drömfakulteten, contributes to a basic deconstruction of power hierarchies (for instance gendered) with the aim of establishing equality in all human relations.