¨Naturalist, historiker, moder: Mathilda Mallings paratextuella strategier

Maria Andersson

Abstract


During the more than forty years of her career, Mathilda Malling (1864– 1942) wrote books for children and adults as well as texts in different genres. Her oeuvre provides an example of the strategies used by female authors to achieve publication in a male-dominated literary field, as well as how the critics reacted when women transgressed the boundaries of what was acceptable in terms of style and subject matter. Through an analysis of Malling’s paratextual strategies and choice of narrative situation, this article aims to show how ideas about gender, genre and authority produced differing restrictions and opportunities for authors when writing for children and adults. Both in her paratexts and in her choice of narrator, Malling played with various notions about the author, using them to stage different artistic identities such as naturalist, historian or mother. In the prefaces of her adult novels, she authorized her narratives through references to claims about the truth, objectivity and an expert’s knowledge. The preface to her book for young readers, in contrast, highlighted everyday life, the author as a member of a family, and children. Her tone of voice was affectionate and light, and far less serious than when she was prefacing adult literature. This aesthetics of the quotidian and of intimacy was further staged in her children’s literature in terms of the situation of the narrator.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14811/clr.v32i2.3

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Barnboken – Journal of Children's Literature Research eISSN 2000-4389
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