Norsk litterär filhellenism 1821–1832 och dess svenska kontrast
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Philhellenism in literature denotes written support for the insurrection against Osman sovereignity during the Greek war of liberation (1821–1830). Of Norwegian writers only Henrik Wergeland counts as a philhellene during the time of the conflict, which he understands as a chapter in his world-defining left-wing narrative, akin to the French and American national, republican revolutions. His contemporary rival J. S. Welhaven in 1832 published translations of so-called "klephtic" Greek folk poetry, which might count as a philhellenic contribution a posteriori, although his simultaneously published notes come forth as apolitical. By contrast to Wergeland, Swedish philhellenic authors assume a right-wing perspective on the war, focusing on the defense of Christianity and Western civilisation against Islam. Greater talents such as Esaias Tegnér, E. G. Geijer and P. D. A. Atterbom should be noted for their silence on the issue rather than for active support, despite philhellenic opinions voiced in private. After the Greek victory, Atterbom seems to have modified more than one of his poems so as to express retrospective support for the Greeks.