From criticism to confirmation of power

In a recent article in the Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter, Ernst Brunner’s new novel Hornsgatan was dismissed by Dan Jönsson as “culturally conservative vomit in a corner already covered in so much vomit that you barely react” (7 August). And in the Malmö daily Sydsvenskan, Eva Ström writes (25 July) that visitors to the art exhibit Figurationer (‘Figuratives’) at the Edsvik Art Gallery “cannot avoid associating it with the art approved by the Nazi regime in Munich in 1937.” At about the same time, Åsa Linderborg in the tabloid Aftonbladet (11 August) compared Minister for Health and Social Affairs Göran Hägglund’s change of course toward a more culturally conservative profile to “Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi leader in Berlin in 1928, (who) assailed against modern art.”

What these phenomena condemned by Swedish reviewers all have in common is that they focus criticism on what can be descr...

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