Motivet der blev væk for litteraturteorien

  • Nils Gunder Hansen Syddansk Universitet
Nøgleord: litteraturteori, motiv, tema, mimesis, livsverden, ideologikritik, Ricoeur, Phelan, Ida Jessen

Resumé

The article argues that classical concepts in literary theory such as “motif” and “theme” have been undertheorized in recent decades. They have been taken for granted as “ordinary language”-vocabulary in no need of conceptual clarification. But the dimension of content in a literary text cannot be sufficiently theorized without precise definitions of “motif” and “theme”. The article claims that the theme is always an abstract concept, an idea, extrapolated from the text by its interpreter, whereas the motif presents itself in the text as an observable constellation between mimetic elements from the human life world that can be traced with variations through multiple texts or other fictional modes. The motif can be more or less specified and will always be located somewhere on a continuum between the abstract theme and the individual text. The article then tries to enrich this understanding of the motif by confronting it with the textual theories of Paul Ricoeur and James Phelan. It is furthermore discussed whether the critique of ideology in the Marxist years played a role in the marginalization of the motif. The relevance of the reconstructed concept is finally demonstrated in an outline of an analytical approach to three novels (The “Hvium”-trilogy) by the Danish author Ida Jessen and it is concluded that this type of approach enables observations that would have been less obvious entering the textual universes on higher or lower levels than the motif being always in between the theme and the text.

Forfatterbiografi

Nils Gunder Hansen, Syddansk Universitet

Nils Gunder Hansen er professor i tekst- og kulturanalyse ved Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, Syddansk Universitet. Kritiker og klummeskriver ved Kristeligt Dagblad. Seneste antologi (redigeret sammen med Ivy York Möller-Christensen) Etik til forhandling. Litteratur - Film - TV, Dansklærerforeningens Forlag 2015.

Referencer

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Publiceret
2017-08-28
Citation/Eksport
Hansen, N. G. (2017). Motivet der blev væk for litteraturteorien. K&K - Kultur Og Klasse, 45(123), 69-86. https://doi.org/10.7146/kok.v45i123.96830
Sektion
Artikler