Svordomar och lärdomar
Vikten av svordomar i Ulf Starks Rymlingarna och Oskar Kroons Överallt och ingenstans
Swearing and Learning: The Importance of Swear Words in Ulf Stark’s Rymlingarna and Oskar Kroon’s Överallt och ingenstans
This study investigates the uses and functions of swear words in children’s literature, analyzing Ulf Stark’s Rymlingarna (The Runaways, 2018) and Oskar Kroon’s Överallt och ingenstans (Everywhere and Nowhere, 2020). In both novels there are characters swearing recurringly, even though swear words are usually not frequently used in literature for young children. A starting point for the article is that the swear words seem to be important in the stories, that the function is not only to underline emotions, or create realism, but also to contribute to the themes of the books. First, the functions of swearing in language and literature are presented, and similarities with functions of humor are pointed out. The study shows that the use of swear words affects both what is being told, and how; they contribute simultaneously to the aesthetics and pedagogy of the novels. Through swear words, characters and close relationships are portrayed. Norms are challenged, and swearing is sometimes part of gaining agency and creating a room of one’s own for the characters. This also means that swearing affects subjectivity and how different characters come to understand themselves and others in the world. Finally, the swear words can be seen as connected to the theme, which in both novels discusses how we can continue to live, through grief and loss of loved ones.
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