Växandets gestaltning i Peter Pohls romansvit om Micke

Wiveca Friman

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


Peter Pohl was born in Germany in 1940 but grew up in Stockholm, a setting reflected in many of his books. Pohl, a researcher at the Royal Technical University in Stockholm, made his fiction debut with the multi-prize-winning novel "Janne, min vän" (1985), and is internationally acclaimed for, among other things, the way in which his teenage novels highlight existential questions. The purpose of this thesis is to follow the plot in the series of five books which portray a boy's growth and development in Stockholm largely during the 1940s and 1950s. The analyses show how Peter Pohl creates characters, settings and events. Several critics have suggested that Pohl's books are characterised by pessimism. Attention is paid in the reading to the view of life, optimistic or pessimistic, expressed in each novel and to whether or not the novels are of a deterministic character. At the same time attention is paid to how the novels as a whole show the importance of society and those most closely concerned with the individual with regard to that individual's possibility to influence his or her situation. Much of the material in Pohl's novels is based on his own early diary entries, which, in the sense that they are based on reality, creates the impression of autobiography or documentary. The texts which are analysed are the tales "De Stora Penslarnas Lek" (1989), descriptions of childhood, "Regnbågen har bara åtta färger" (1986) and "Medan regnbågen bleknar" (1989) as well as the teenage novels "Vilja växa" (1994), "Vi kallar honom Anna" (1987) and "Klara papper är ett måste" (1998). A close reading follows the main character and development of plot; it also considers a variety of themes, such as longing, friendship, sorrow and guilt, and their function. Interpretation of the text takes place in a psychological and socio-psychological context. Symbols, allusions and intertexts are elucidated in connection with the analysis of themes and motifs. From a narratological perspective the narrative is considered with particular regard for focalization and narrator reliability. I also examine various levels of narrative and temporality. The theories and methods of Gérard Genette, Mieke Bal and Staffan Björck in particular are applied.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Comparative Literature
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2003 Dec 6
ISBN (Print)91-970946-5-X
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2003-12-06
Time: 10:15
Place: Edens hörsal, Paradisgatan 5

External reviewer(s)

Name: Wolf, Lars
Title: Docent
Affiliation: Mitthögskolan, Härnösand


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Languages and Literature

Free keywords

  • Allmän och jämförande litteratur
  • literary theory
  • literature criticism
  • General and comparative literature
  • temporality.
  • focalization
  • narrator
  • intertextuality
  • growth and development
  • view of life
  • teenage novels
  • childhood
  • Peter Pohl
  • children’s literature
  • litteraturkritik
  • litteraturteori
  • Scandinavian languages and literature
  • Nordiska språk (språk och litteratur)

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