Karin Boye och de postuma bortförklaringarna

  • Paulina Helgesson


Swedish author Karin Boye (1900-1941) still suffers from the image of the tortured lesbian, established by her biographer Margit Abenius in the 1950s. Abenius' own difficulties in dealing with Boye's homosexuality creates a situation where Boye is posthumously robbed of her conscious choice of a lesbian life. Instead, Boye is presented as a victim of her uncontrollable (and unwanted) desires, driven into a lesbian life by the failure of the psychoanalysis meant to cure her homosexuality. This image is balanced in Boye's letters, published this autumn in a selection volume. Boye's descriptions in the letters present an alternative image to the one given by Margit Abenius. Aware of society's moral and medical views on homosexuality, Boye is true to her own needs and desires. Not a victim, but a realist, she writes: "Actually, one does not want order, or even happiness. What one wants is life." Describing her lesbianism as connected with the need to be "the tormentor, rather than the tormented", Boye places herself outside the sexual and gender-related boundaries of Swedish society in the 1930s.


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How to Cite
Helgesson, P. (1). Karin Boye och de postuma bortförklaringarna. Lambda Nordica, 6(4), 6-22. Retrieved from https://www.lambdanordica.org/index.php/lambdanordica/article/view/105