Ditt språk ekar genom någon annan till mig. Röster i självbiografiska texter skrivna av kvinnor utan fast boende i Göteborg

Amanda Frövenholt


This article discusses questions about voices and roles in the welfare system and in literature. Two magazines consisting of autobiographical texts written by visitors to »Huldas Hus« (Hulda’s House) in Gothenburg, a meeting place for women with unstable housing situations, are analysed. Based on my three roles as a social worker, as an editor of the aforemen- tioned magazines, and as a student of Comparative Literature, I discuss the question of who is speaking. This is done by analysing the texts’ form and content, and also by analysing the paratexts of the magazines. The possibilities of literature to give voice without limiting the opportunity to speak are also discussed. The article concludes that there are some difficulties for the voices in the texts to speak freely. The texts illustrate the author’s experiences of not being able to speak: someone else with the power to define, for example the welfare system, always speaks first. It is also concluded that each mention of the social work context in the magazines, for example in the paratext, could create restrictions for the text’s ability to speak. But the paratext also seems to create space for the texts by calling for someone to listen.

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