Adaption och subversion : Återbruk, mening och nonsens i Block av Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson

by Hellman Vold, Anne

Abstract (Summary)
The Swedish contemporary poet Ulf Karl Olov Nilsson (UKON) creates his poems by recycling and manipulating existing material. Though the overall opinion of his work has been positive, the idea that experimental poetry focus shape on the expense of content has led critics to either interpret the nonsensical and absurd aspects of UKON’s poetics as a consequence of the technical methods he uses to create his poetry, or to look beyond the nonsensical and absurd aspects to focus the fact that the poems creates meaning at all. The poems of UKON’s sixth collection of poems, Block (2005), differ from each other in many ways: some poems are lists and other revolves around a person – their content and construction vary and they can hardly be read as an expression of one persons thought. Still, the homogenous visual form creates a sense of uniformity – all the poems are shaped like blocks in different sizes, it has no page numbers and no names has been given the individual poems. By focusing the nonsensical and absurd aspects of UKON’s collection Block, and at the same time read the poetry through the light of the poetic context that UKON is connected to, this essays shows that UKON destroys and creates meaning in a way that is similar to the techniques used by the Victorian nonsense literature. As the Victorian nonsense literature make use of the language’s grammatical rules and genres to give the nonsense text a structure, UKON stages a reciprocal action between making use of and exceeding the conventional use of different language-contexts (e.g. erotic language or expressions such as “one must…”). Thus, the nonsensical aspects of UKON’s poetry are exposed as a consequent course of action to create and destroy meaning and Block can be read as a way to disclose how the language creates and maintains cultural clichés.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Södertörns högskola

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:05/21/2008

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