The Literary Journalism of Moa Martinson (1890–1964)

Hoyles, Anna (2021) The Literary Journalism of Moa Martinson (1890–1964). PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

The Literary Journalism of Moa Martinson (1890–1964)
Hoyles Anna Journalism January 2021.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


This thesis brings to the fore the little-known journalism of the Swedish novelist Moa Martinson (1890–1964). Using a sample of 253 articles, spanning the years 1922–1960, it explores Martinson’s use of her class-based knowledge to expound her political and social ideas through her journalism. The articles, mainly published in syndicalist, anarchist, socialist and feminist newspapers, are analysed using close reading. Placing Martinson within her social and historical contexts, this study argues that Martinson’s work is literary journalism, a field where women, working-class writers (Roberts, 2012) and the Scandinavian countries (Tulloch and Keeble, 2012) are all underrepresented. In doing so, it highlights her narrative and descriptive skills, and in particular her distinctive journalistic voice.

The thesis draws attention to two key aspects where the study of Martinson’s work may contribute to the theory of literary journalism. Firstly, in her deployment of the oral tradition she shows the potential for literary journalism to incorporate many of orality’s techniques as authenticating and reader-engagement approaches. Secondly, she exhibits an unusual, but powerful, attitude to literary journalism’s strategy of immersion. She writes from a world in which she has been submerged since birth: in doing so, personal experience becomes a form of immersion and her primary source of authority. In her hands, life events become a rhetorical tool to provide authority for her both as a writer and as a political activist. To illustrate these points, the thesis focuses on several major themes in Martinson’s journalism: the importance of maternal love and authority; a rejection of corporal punishment; and a damming indictment of the practice of charity, complemented by a belief in solidarity and mutual aid.

Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (Journalism)
ID Code:45012
Deposited On:24 May 2021 08:28

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