Den orättvisaste orättvisan. Heroism och alternativ maskulinitet i Hans Erik Engqvists ungdomsroman Tredagarskriget
”Wicked Wrongfulness. Heroism and Alternative Versions of
Masculinity in Hans Erik Engqvist’s Young Adult Novel Three Days War”. This article examines the re-evaluation of modern masculinity in the YA novel Three Days War by the Swedish author Hans Erik Engqvist (b. 1934). The central argument is that the fictional representation of Children Playing War in the novel is intertwined with the imagining of competing masculinities as well as opposing ideologies in post-war Sweden. Thus, the expression of institutionalized middle-class masculinity is contrasted to the representation of an alternative left wing working-class masculinity in opposition to social hierarchy and social inequality. Through different allusions to heroic men and heroic behaviour in 19th century literature and American Western films the novel invites the reader to evoke hegemonic masculinity as a schema shaping both the understanding of the young characters and their play. But the novel also interrogates this institutionalized myth of hegemonic masculinity and sets the main character, as well as the reader, in search of an alternative version of the heroic male.
Keywords: Boy’s literature; intersectionality; hegemonic masculinity;
working class masculinity; modernity; heroes; play; war
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