Bara det som lyser genom porerna - En kroppsnarratologisk studie av Malin Kiveläs "Du eller aldrig"
Only What Shines Through the Pores - A Study of Corporeal Narratology in Malin Kivelä's "Du eller aldrig"
In Malin Kivelä’s novel Du eller aldrig (2006) the reader experiences the world through the body of Aija, the narrator; a middle aged woman living in Helsinki. Aija has no family or other social relations. Hers is a life of strict routine: she spends her time reading, cleaning and studying snowflakes. Critics of the novel have stressed that Aija’s way of narrating creates a strong sense of presence in the text, but also that Aija’s atypical social behavior evokes a sense of loneliness and alienation. These can be seen as originating in the body; we are present in the world through our bodies, but we are also inevitably separated from each other due to our individual bodies. The body is simultaneously a prerequisite and a limitation for human understanding – and therefore also conditions human narration. The aim of this thesis is to explore how the body shapes the narration of Du eller aldrig, using tools from phenomenology, neurocognitive philosophy and corporeal narratology, drawing primarily on the works of Daniel Punday and Genie Babb. By choosing an atypical subject like Aija this study also strives to put a critical perspective on the term “body”, and to uncover its underlying norms. Here, the concept of queer phenomenology by Sara Ahmed, and the concept of alien phenomenology by Ian Bogost serve to help construct this critique. The first part of the analysis focuses on bodily presence in the novel, while the second part focuses on loneliness and normativity. The study shows that Aija’s way of living challenges both social and anthropocentric norms, which in turn influences her narration. Thus the study opens up for a form of narratology that requires an awareness of the bodily and normative context of the narrator to a greater extent than has previously been considered within the field.
Du eller aldrig