Miten tulla sellaiseksi kuin on? Autenttisuus ja itsestä vieraantuminen Joel Lehtosen varhaistuotannossa

    Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandlingMonografi


    This dissertation analyses the character depiction of Joel Lehtonen’s early Symbolist-Decadent works Perm (1904), Paholaisen viulu (1904), Villi (1905), and Mataleena (1905) from a new perspective, in the context of the cultural dialogue concerning authenticity and particularly in relation to Friedrich Nietzsche’s views on existential authenticity and self-alienation. The themes of authenticity and alienation are treated as central early modernist concerns of Lehtonen’s peculiar brand of fin de siècle Decadence. The thematization of these existential issues is part of the inward turn, which takes place in Finnish literature at the turn of the 20th century.

    Authenticity, as Nietzsche views it, can be defined in a very broad sense as wholeness of an individual’s life and self-identity. Alienation, in turn, means not realizing the potential of one’s existence. Alienation can be brought about in various ways, for instance through the influence of upbringing or by succumbing to the temptations of a comfortable life. As many studies on literary Decadence have noted before, Decadence cultivates experiences of alienation – from society, the self or even life in general – and typically presents human life as fragmented. In Lehtonen’s early works, the Naturalist-Decadent depiction of entropy and determinism puts into question even the possibility of freely constructing oneself.

    The study argues that Nietzschean authenticity represents an anti-decadent ideal, which is relevant in fin de siècle Decadence and which plays a special role in Lehtonen’s Nietzschean-Dionysian Decadence. For Nietzsche, striving to become authentic involves, first of all, taking a critical stance towards socialization and the moral values transmitted by tradition. Secondly, becoming what one is means unleashing one’s creative powers in the construction of one’s identity. Lehtonen’s exceptional individuals express a pathos of transgression, which is aimed at the conservative Christian-patriarchal values of society. Still, having rebelled against tradition, the protagonists of Paholaisen viulu, Villi and Mataleena – unlike the strong hero of Perm – feel they have become at least partly alienated from what they could have been, from their innate potential or from what they perceive as their ideal self. Even the desirability of the kind of will to power over the self advocated by Nietzsche becomes questionable.

    Bidragets titel på inmatningsspråkHow to Become What One Is?: Authenticity and Self-Alienation in Joel Lehtonen's Early Works
    Tryckta ISBN978-951-51-2185-1
    Elektroniska ISBN978-951-51-2186-8
    StatusPublicerad - 24 maj 2016
    MoE-publikationstypG4 Doktorsavhandling (monografi)


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