Despite the spatial expansion of modernist studies during the past few decades, scholarship still tends to privilege urban spaces while excluding rural regions from mappings of modernist literature. This article focuses on the countryside and suggests that a study of rural representations through feminist regionalism can provide a transnational frame of analysis for modernist studies, particularly since the phenomenon of modernity affected the countryside all over the world with authors from various locations responding to similar developments and crises. By taking as point of departure the rural regions of Sweden and Finland, this article asks how the countryside became imagined in Nordic modernist texts during the first half of the twentieth century. With a focus on Eyvind Johnson's Stad i mörker (1927) and Hagar Olsson's Träsnidaren och döden (1940), the article analyzes how representations of the countryside are used in these texts to critically consider questions of modernity, nationality, and community. Depending on the intersecting identities of its inhabitants, the countryside ranges from a future utopia of communal life to a backward threat to the developments of modernity.


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pp. 252-278
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