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  • 1.
    Almroth, Klas
    Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Disciplinary Research. Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Teaching and Learning Language, Literature and Media.
    Postmoderniara: En revy över en postmodern idévärld i Harry Martinsons Aniara2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this essay is to highlight tendencies of postmodernism in Harry Martinson’s Aniara (1956), a work that has traditionally been placed in a modernist context. The analysis centers around two aspects in the text with the aim of finding traces of a postmodern world view.

    First the “mima”, an enigmatic machine that consoles the passengers in the first six years of the journey, is reasoned to be a mass cultural phenomenon rather than an elitist poetic device, as pre­vious studies have suggested. The cultural production of the machine is then analyzed in the light of the theories of hyper reality and simulacrum, as conceived by Jean Baudrillard. The analysis renders two possible implications, one where the machine can be viewed as a precursor to a post­modern positive attitude of mass culture, and one more modernistic where the machine in its role as mass culture numbs the passengers and prevents them from acting on their situation in time.

    The second part of the analysis focuses on the view of metanarratives, as expressed within the fiction and in the wok as a whole. Jean-François Lyotard and his explanation of postmodernism’s incredulity towards metanarratives is used as a theoretical standpoint. The analysis shows that metanarratives are considered impossible within the fiction of Aniara as during the course of the journey, they are replaced with more local methods of creating meaning. On the whole, the book could be seen to replace the metanarrative of human progress by one telling of the inadequacy and inert destructibility of humanity. However, the analysis shows that metanarratives are rejected all together. The construction of a new metanarrative is made impossible by (1) the fictitious accounts clearly being a local event, (2) the text openly stating the impossibility of deeper interpretation and finally (3) the work employing a narrator too unreliable to be able to convey the unarguable truths necessary to create a new metanarrative.

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