My paper will be based on the essay I am currently writing for volume 2 (Place) of A Comparative History of Nordic Literary Cultures, under the joint heading “Cityscapes”. In discussing different representations of female city walkers, I will establish certain figures which will serve as ‘nodes’ for my presentation, such as the female flâneur, the bohemian, the working woman, the prostitute, the bag lady, the tourist/traveller – which may put ‘the female pedestrian’ in perspective. For the purpose of this short paper I will concentrate on the tension between the working woman and the woman of leisure, and discuss how these figurations interact with the cities in which they are set. My main examples will be drawn from Swedish and Finnish-Swedish literature, and the emphasis will be on the first decade of the twentieth century. Maria Sandel’s short text “Min gata” (Vid svältgränsen och andra berättelser. Skildringar ur Stockholmslifvet, 1908) will serve as a starting point, but I will also draw examples from Anna Branting’s Staden (1901), Elin Wägner’s Pennskaftet (1910), Helena Westermarck’s Vandrare (1911), and Anna Åkesson’s Gertrud Wiede (1909).
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