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"The Aesthetics of Protestantism in Karin Boye's Poetry"

Diane Chateau-Alaberdina, Strasbourg

In my PhD project, I try to highlight the place of the sacred in Karin Boye's poetry, more precisely the relation between new poetic effects in literature and the place of Protestant religion as an aesthetic object. The poetic work of Karin Boye represented this moment of modernity in literature: it offers an innovative poetry, which breaks with conventional forms, using both classical and free verse, playing with metaphors and sounds. In this way, I show the process of secularization that allows Boye to shape a religious dialogue through an empty transcendence and a biblical language that she re-appropriates as a woman. Her mystical introspection unfolds around the notions of work, confession, redemption, divine salvation, and existential crisis. Karin Boye expresses her spirituality as a feminist, detaching herself from the patriarchal religious discourse and developing a humanistic poetry, at the crossroads of the religious, modernist, social and cultural issues of twentieth century Sweden.

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