Affective Economies in the Tug of War between Idealism and Anti-idealisms. Reviewers’ reactions to Anne Charlotte Leffler’s Sanna kvinnor (True Women)

  • Birgitta Johansson Lindh Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion at the University of Gothenburg
Keywords: The Scandinavian modern breakthrough, nineteenth century theatre, reception, reviews, theory of affect, Sarah Ahmed, gender, Anne Charlotte Leffler

Abstract

The aim of the article is to demonstrate and discuss a method for analyzing reviews, emphasizing the emotional reactions and personal attempts by reviewers to position themselves. Paying attention to such structures is especially important during periods of intense aesthetic and ideological struggles in the field of theatre. The documents used in the study are three reviews of the opening night (15 October 1883) of Sanna kvinnor (True Women), by the Swedish playwright Anne Charlotte Leffler. The reviews constitute an interesting case, as both the play and the performance broke with dramaturgical conventions and strongly criticized the gender-ideology of the era, at a time when the advocates of idealism exercised hegemony and were challenged by various anti-idealist opponents.

Author Biography

Birgitta Johansson Lindh, Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion at the University of Gothenburg

Birgitta Johansson Lindh, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her doctoral thesis Befrielsen är nära: Feminism och teaterpraktik i Margareta Garpes and Suzanne Ostens 1970-talsteater (2006) (Liberation is at Hand: Feminism and Theatrical Practice in Margareta Garpe’s and Suzanne Osten’s Theatre of the 1970s) deals with strategies of communication in feminist theatre and in reviews. Johansson is currently concluding her research project “Emotion and Liberation – Sentimental and Melodramatic Elements in Women’s Socio-realistic Plays of the Modern Breakthrough”, which was financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), a Swedish research foundation. Besides taking part in the “Turning Points and Continuities” project, she is conducting research on Europe’s reception of Anne Charlotte Leffler’s plays as part of the project “Swedish Women Writers on Export in the Nineteenth Century” at the University of Gothenburg.

References

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Published
2018-01-27
How to Cite
Lindh, B. (2018). Affective Economies in the Tug of War between Idealism and Anti-idealisms. Reviewers’ reactions to Anne Charlotte Leffler’s Sanna kvinnor (True Women). Nordic Theatre Studies, 29(1), 25-43. https://doi.org/10.7146/nts.v29i1.103306