"Jeg gjør nu ikke regning paa synderlig lang livsfrist". Unaturlig narrativ og håp i Henrik Wergelands dødsleiedikt
AuthorNesby, Linda Hamrin
Studies within oncology show that patients suffering from cancer report having a stronger feeling of hope than the general population. Such findings correspond to the pivotal role hope has in Henrik Wergeland’s (1808–1845) six so-called deathbed poems. Writing of illness the way Wergeland does is a part of the tradition of autobiographical literature called pathography. However, also having a dead person as the narrating voice situates some of the poems within the experimental genre of autothanatography. I will discuss how Wergeland’s poems through the use of the literary device of prosopopeia establish an unnatural narrative containing hope for the afterlife. The study is situated within the field of literature and medicine, and shows how modern narratological insights can be used as a means of bringing forth new perspectives on the pathography genre.