Con-Science and The Whole: Sara Lidman s Literary Philosophy
The purpose of this project is to investigate the complex relation between philosophy and literature through a study of the Swedish modernist author Sara Lidman (1923-2004). At the center of the investigation lies Lidman’s concepts ”con-science” (“sam-vettet”) and “The Whole” (Det Hela), found in her literary and non-fictional writing alike. The study aims at showing how the philosophical problematic of “con-science” deeply shapes Lidman’s authorship, and is given literary articulation through the poetics of “The Whole.” The project wants to a) demonstrate how Lidman belongs to a philosophical and literary modernist tradition that is occupied with the problem of “the ineffable,” b) compare her to other such authorships, and through the theories and methods of the ”Ordinary Language Criticism”-tradition, show how the problem of “the ineffable” sheds important light on the relation between philosophy and literature, c) contribute to the international field of ”philosophy and literature” research, as well as d) to Nordic Lidman scholarship. The project is important since there is a perceived opposition between philosophy and literature, palpable since Plato, which obscures the mutual relevance of literature and philosophy to one another. The study of Lidman will help to remedy this obscurity both on a more general level, and with specific regard to Lidman by illuminating a neglected aspect of her authorship.