Sensual Grass Touching Humid Skin: Finding Love in the Relationship between Subject and Landscape

Johanna Lindbo


The starting point of this article is the notion of landscapes as intra-active places for dwelling and becoming. Informed by feminist and material ecocritical theory, it aims to make visible a connection between vegetation, water, dirt, affect, and subjects in literary texts. Against a comparative backdrop of the work of the French philosopher and writer Simone de Beauvoir, the article looks at the relationship between humans and nature in contemporary Swedish literature. The analyses explore three fictional young women’s experiences of being-in- nature in three novels: Hanna Nordenhök’s Det vita huset i Simpang (The White House in Simpang) (2013), Sara Stridsberg’s Happy Sally (2004) and Mare Kandre’s Bübins unge (Bübin’s kid) (1987). The purpose is to investigate how literary texts can depict and convey experiences of sensuality, embodiment, and belonging within landscapes as something meaningful in terms of the subject’s continuous process of becoming. It is argued that the novels articulate intimateand tactile bonds between the young women and the organic environment that combine creation and destruction, sometimes resembling notions of love.

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