Vil du meg noko? Ei lesing av Johan Harstad sin roman Hässelby
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This project is an analysis of Johan Harstad's novel Hässelby (2007) with emphasis on the connection between literature and ethics. I have based my project on the hypothesis that this novel has an underlying ethical message. I investigate what the content of this message is, and how it is conveyed in the novel. This is a controversial approach to literature, but it is not new. When it comes to the relationship between literature and ethics, the term most commonly referred to is Wayne C. Booth’s “the implied author”. The theologian John Nome is mentioned in this project as a Nordic representative of a similar approach. The method I have used is based on a broad theoretical approach. Among the most important theories is the British sociologist Anthony Giddens' presentation of the Late Modern society, and the Danish theologian Knut Ejler Løgstrup´s theory about ”the ethical demand”. I have reached the conclusion that the ethical message in the novel is communicated on three different levels: first, on a religious-mythological level, through the book's apocalyptic narrative; second, through the novel's intertextual references; and third, through a realistic portrayal of a late modernity. As for the content of the ethical message, it turns out to be difficult to draw any general conclusions, not least because the realistic portrayal is presented by an unreliable narrator. What I have arrived at, on the other hand, is that the novel problematizes the absence of an ethical standard.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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