sexta-feira, dezembro 12, 2008

Resposta (académica) à Academia Sueca - 'Northern Arts: The Breakthrough of Scandinavian Literature and Art, From Ibsen to Bergman'

«[...] Kibitzers who annually mock the Academy for ignoring immortals generally don't know that Alfred Nobel's will requires the prize to go to an author whose work exhibits "an idealistic tendency." That leaves the Academy's much-criticized stiffing of writers such as Borges less a mark of incompetence than what lawyers call fiduciary duty.

But an imposing new critical work makes December an ideal month to turn the Engdahl controversy ironically on its head. Arnold Weinstein's just-published Northern Arts: The Breakthrough of Scandinavian Literature and Art, From Ibsen to Bergman (Princeton University Press) is the most ambitious American effort in memory to view Scandinavian culture whole. It unfolds as if the head of our National Book Awards had denounced Scandinavian culture as too hermetic to merit attention in the United States. Almost in reply to such an imagined slight, Weinstein celebrates his subject for projecting a globally influential ethos that transcends any role as merely an occasional producer of world-class artists.

Weinstein, a professor of comparative literature at Brown University, is an American from Memphis, so he can't be accused of jingoistic special pleading (though his acknowledgments charmingly merge his love for Scandinavian culture with that for his Swedish wife, Ann Cathrine Berntson). While you might think that a scholar bent on special pleading for a culture's artistic accomplishment is living in a doll's house if he believes scholarship can persuade the masses, Northern Arts aptly raises questions at the crossroads of the cosmopolitan and provincial.

Weinstein's overriding aim is to undermine any image of Scandinavian literature and art as insular or peripheral. He brims with appreciation for "the nonobvious sensuousness of the North, the vibrancy, vitality, and occasional madness and lunacy that are deeply but securely lodged underneath the stolid Scandinavian manner".

O texto completo de Carlin Romano aqui.