ELTE BTK Magyar Nyelvtudományi és Finnugor Intézet

Molnár Bodrogi, Enikő (Kolozsvár)

nyomtatható változat

Multilingual Periphery Versus Unilingual Centre. Literary Multilingualism in Bengt Pohjanen’s Work

The notion of “periphery versus centre” has a long tradition in being applied in different fields of humanistic studies, mainly in social and political analysis. I would like to rethink these notions in terms of the dynamics of multilingual ethnic minority versus unilingual national majority in the context of literature in Sweden. I will make an attempt to disprove the conception according to which what belongs to the centre is to be considered a standard and of greater value than what is associated with the periphery, and the idea of “being less” is also involved in the concept of “minority”, irrespective of our accepting it or not. I am convinced that “periphery” and “centre” are related and dynamic terms, depending on the view we look upon them.
My intention in this study is to draw attention on the verbal art and the philosophy of Sweden’s trilingual and amazingly prolific author, Bengt Pohjanen, who has written prose, lyrics, drama, opera librettos, radioplays, sketches and other genres in Swedish, Meänkieli and Finnish.
The works of Bengt Pohjanen have had a major role in the ethnic and linguistic revival of Meänkieli traditions. This revival began in the first half of the nineteen eighties. Pohjanen’s role is very much like the role of the writers in the time of Romanticism – building up a linguistic and cultural identity for their own ethnic group. His writings are eloquent examples for the strong connection between cultural heritage and collective identity.
After presenting Pohjanen’s role in voicing the “otherness” in the hegemony of Swedish literature, I will focus on the author’s autobiographic novel written in Meänkieli, Jopparikuninkhaan poika, and analyze it in the context of multilingualism.
As to the theoretical basis and methods of the study to be presented, I intend to analyize the phenomenom of literary multilingualism in Bengt Pohjanen’s work from some possible common angles of anthropological linguistics, sociolinguistics and social psychology.
The study is going to be presented in Meänkieli.