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Mats Jansson


Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Mats Jansson

My research has mainly dealt with modernism, literary criticism, T.S. Eliot and intermediality. In my doctoral thesis Tradition och förnyelse (1991) I analyze the Swedish critical and lyrical reception of Eliot in order to demonstrate Eliot’s seminal importance for the development of Swedish lyrical modernism in the 1930s and 1940s. In Kritisk tidsspegel (1998) I focus on the role and function of literary criticism relative to the general breakthrough of Swedish lyrical modernism in the 1940s; here various theoretical approaches to the concept of ‘literary criticism’ were combined with empirical research. My monograph Den siste barden (2005) investigates the writings of the Swedish modernist, poet and painter Sven Alfons (1918–96). The notion of ‘intertextuality’ proves to be central to the analysis of his poetry and its relations to tradition. Furthermore, the concepts of ‘persona’ and ‘dramatic monologue’ turn out to be central in Alfons’s aesthetics. In addition, Alfons’s own paintings are found to be concordant with his poetry in their willingness to quote from pictorial sources and from literature. Focussing on the concept of ‘ekphrasis’ Poetens blick (2014) investigates the use of this mode of expression in Swedish poetry from the Romantic era through Modernism and Postmodernism. Furthermore, ekphrastic poetry opens up to specific semiotic, hermeneutical and phenomenological questions that I address. I am currently engaged in a project on the relationship between photography and literature in the Modernist era.

"Retelling the painting" – a presentation of Poetens blick. Ekfras i svensk lyrik