Suolatut säkeet

Suomen ja suomalaisten diskursiivinen muotoutuminen 1600-luvulta Topeliukseen

Suolatut säkeet on väitöskirjani, joka käsittelee suomalaisuuden syntyä 1600-luvulta 1800-luvun lopulle. Suomalaisten halu kuulla itsestään on ollut ja on edelleen kyltymätön. Ulkomaalaisillekin esitetään jo kättelyssä kysymyksiä, joihin odotetaan tuttuja vastauksia tuhatjärvisen maan kauneudesta ja kansan rehtiydestä.

Suolatut säkeet kysyy, miten tämä kaikkien hyvin tuntema suomalaisuuden merkitysaines on muotoutunut. Kirjassa mennään siis suomalaisuuden lähteille: selvitetään miten tieto Suomesta ja suomalaisista on tullut aikojen kuluessa mahdolliseksi, millaista tietoa näistä on tuotettu ja miksi.

Tutkimuksessa ei katsota vain kolikon parempaa puolta. Se on kirja sinulle, jolle Suomi-kuva ei ole liian kallis.

Nyt myös sähkökirjana

Painetun kirjan kustansi Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (SKS): ISBN 951-717-947-2, ISSN 0355-1768, Gummerus Kirjapaino Oy, Jyväskylä, 1997. Nyt Suolatut säkeet on saatavana myös sähkökirjana. Voit ladata sen tästä.

Sähkökirjan tiedot

  • Suolatut säkeet
  • Kirjoittanut FT
  • Alkuperäisen väitöskirjan ISBN 951-717-947-2
  • 252 sivua
  • 2. elektroninen painos
  • Luokitus: 86.2 Suomen kirjallisuuden historia ja tutkimus
  • Lataa kirja täältä PDF-muodossa

Kirja julkisuudessa

  • "Tämäntyyppisen tutkimuksen on todella jo korkea aika ilmestyä, vaikka se voisikin herättää kiivasta keskustelua ja jopa närkästystä perinteisemmin suuntautuneiden tutkijoiden joukossa,"
    FT, professori Rein Raud, Helsingin yliopisto
  • "Lähtökohdiltaan tutkimus on kriittinen ja uusia uria aukova ja osoittaa tekijän motivoituneisuuden, ennakkoluulottomuuden ja lahjakkuuden."
    FT, professori Pertti Karkama, Turun yliopisto
  • "Työ asettuu monien ajantasaisten tutkimusaiheiden ja -kohteiden risteykseen: nationalismin tutkimukseen, kansalliskirjallisuuksien uudelleenarvioon sekä kirjallisuusinstituution kritiikkiin. (--) Poikittais- ja pitkittäisleikkauksena tutkimus on tuore ja kiintoisa varsinkin asettaessaan 1700-luvun tekstit esiin aikaisemmista poikkeaviin yhteyksiin."
    FT, professori Jyrki Nummi, Helsingin yliopisto
  • "Suolatut säkeet pakottaa uudella, kriittisellä ja ennakkoluulottomalla tavalla pohtimaan kansallisen kulttuurin muotoutumisessa keskeisiksi osoittautuneita tekstejä."
    FT, professori Hannu Riikonen, Helsingin yliopisto
  • "Väittelijä ansaitsee kiitokset kunnianhimostaan ja uskalluksestaan tarttua näin laajaan aiheeseen. (--) Väitöskirjassa käsiteltyjen merkittävien tekstien tulevat tutkijat eivät missään tapauksessa saisi jättää Päivi Rantasen esittämiä tulkintoja huomiotta."
    Valt. tri, dosentti Mikko Lagerspetz, Viron humanistinen instituutti

Kirja-arvioita

Sisällys

Klikkaa suurennos kansikuvasta
1. Johdanto 5
1.1 Säkeet 6
1.2 Suomalaisuuden arkeologia 11
2. Messenius: totta vai tarua 22
2.1 Mahtavan menneisyyden diskurssi 25
2.2 Aution maan diskurssi 33
2.3 Mahtava + autio 40
2.4 Ajan tieto 50
2.5 Kurjuusdiskurssi 58
3. Juslenius: Sulosanoma 65
3.1 Paremmuus ja huonommuusdiskurssi 66
3.2 Diskursiiviset käytännöt 76
3.3 Vastadiskurssit ja -käytännöt 85
4. Porthan: takatalvi 95
4.1 Skeptinen diskurssi 97
4.2 Skeptisyyden sinivalkoiset värit 104
4.3 Parannusdiskurssi 114
5. Arwidsson: pitsinnypläystä 125
5.1 Kotiliesidiskurssi 127
5.2 Korvapuustidiskurssi 136
5.3 Virallinen diskurssi 146
6. Runeberg & Snellman: suurten suunvuoro 154
6.1 Runebergin autio maa 156
6.2 Egotrippidiskurssi 165
6.3 Kaunokirjallisuuden kansa 174
6.4 Snellmanin skeptinen 181
6.5 Karjadiskurssi 191
7. Topelius: paradoksi 200
7.1 Patrioottinen aution maan diskurssi 201
7.2 Topeliaaninen karja 211
8. Lopuksi 219
Kirjallisuus 224
Summary 246


Johdanto

Suomalaisten halu kuulla itsestään on kyltymätön. Kovakantisilla Suomesta ja suomalaisista kertovilla kirjoilla, joiden laajuus on yhdestä kahdeksaan osaan, voikin täyttää monta hyllymetriä. Tarina alkaa siitä – erästä kovakantista lainaten – miten suoma­laisten var­haisimmat esi-isät astuivat perääntyvän jään paljastamille karuille, merestä nouseville Suomen rannoille noin 10 000 vuotta sitten.

Uljaassa nousevassa kaaressa kuvataan kaikki olennainen tieto laajalta alalta ja sen pohjalta piirretään ehjä kuva suomalaisena olemisen sisällöstä. Kiehtovat tarinat kertovat pureutumisesta ankariin oloihin, taistelusta jokapäiväisen leivän tähden ensin veden viljan ja maan riistan perässä, sitten vähäisillä viljelyksillä ja lopulta olemassaolon kamppailusta idän ja lännen vaikutuspiirien puristuksessa. Teksteinä ne ovat puhuttelevia ja vaikuttavia koko kansakunnan päivä­kirjoja, jotka “antavat suomalaisuudelle uutta sisältöä”.

Suolatut säkeet kysyy, mistä tarinoidemme Suomea ja suomalaisia koskeva merkitysaines juontuu. Tutkimuksessa mennään suomalaisuuden lähteille ja analysoidaan merkitysten muotoutumista ja muuntautumista reilun kahdensadan vuo­den jännevälillä.

Kädessäsi on siis kirja meistä ja meille, suomalaisuuden historia. Se ei kui­ten­kaan ole kehityskertomus, joka vastaisi kysymyksiin “Keitä me olemme?” ja “Millaiseen maahan tulimme?”, vaan se on analyysi tällaisiin kysymyksiin vas­taa­vis­ta teksteistä. Kirjan tarkoituksena on selvittää, miten tieto Suomesta ja suo­ma­lai­sista on tullut aikojen kuluessa mahdolliseksi, millaista tietoa näistä objekteista on tuotettu, ja mitkä seikat kulloisiinkin merkityksiin ovat ohjanneet.

Purkavan funktionsa vuoksi Suolatut säkeet ei esiinny kansallisen tietoi­suu­den vankkana kivijalkana. Sen sijaan se tarjoaa analyysin varsin erilaisissa sosi­aalisissa, institutionaalisissa ja historiallisissa tilanteissa tuotetuista Suomea ja suo­malaisia koskevista merkityksistä. Se on kirja sinulle, jolle Suomi-kuva ei ole liian kallis.


Summary

The study Vitriolic Verses examines the discursive formation undergone by Finland and the Finns from the seventeenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. It asks how information on Finland and the Finns became possible, what manner of information was produced from those objects, and why.

The research data consist of a collection of texts of national importance, selected from the writings of Finnish historians (J. Messenius, D. Juslenius, H.G. Porthan) and the fathers of the nationalist ideal (A.I. Arwidsson, J.V. Snellman) and also those who contributed greatly to the aesthetic formation of the picture of the country and the nation (J.L. Runeberg, Z. Topelius).

To this very day reference is made to these prominent figures when describing distinguishing features of Finland and the Finns; the natural beauty of the scenery and its thousand lakes, the industry of the people, the perseverance and honesty. The aim of the present study is to extend this national significance potential by reading the texts of these great men against the drift of the dominant models of interpretation. The study examines in what other ways Finland and the Finns are represented and asks if the patriotic interpretation models extolling country and nation are justified.

In addition to making new interpretations, the study also examines how a national tradition has been created with the dominant interpretation models. The research operates on two levels, that of the texts to be analysed, and that of the canonization of national texts. The motive for the mode of examination selected is the observation that the conceptions of Finnishness now cherished are, to an appreciable extent, based on second hand sources, or canonizing interpretations which direct the way in which texts of an age gone by are read: certain meanings are extracted from the texts and made dominant, while an at least comparably large meaning potential is condemned to oblivion.

The research is founded on Michel Foucault's theories of discourse. 'Discourse' is defined as the system of attaching meanings through which reality is represented and through which knowledge of it is produced. Texts on the nation are understood in the research to be a field of discursive battle in which various discourses on Finland and Finns size each other up. There is in them a discussion, even a debate on the world view on the internal organization of society and the division of power.

The notion of discursive battle shows that there is in the texts no single established meaning for Finland and the Finns. For example, in the Suomen kronikka ('=chronicle of Finland') of J. Messenius, published in the seventeenth century, a discourse of a glorious past is produced which represents to the Finns the position of an independent, vigorous nation. Alongside this, however, there runs a different, not nearly so appealing discourse. In this discourse of a ghost land Finland is a country where nothing ever happens and the Finns are a passive nation like incarcerated unfortunates.

The study makes comparisons with various texts for the primary objects of examination. Thus one may add to the discourses of the seventeenth century a third discourse, the discourse of wretchedness. Here the Finns are described as being particularly ill-fated, and going from bad to worse. They have to suffer the gloomiest adversities – attack by the adjacent nation, fire, pestilence, natural calamities etc.

The study ascertains what different, even conflicting meaningful coexistence of systems is possible. Attention is paid to different interests born of the opposing discourses and either explicitly or implicitly written into these discourses.

The cases described culminated in a discursive struggle between the dominant and opposition discourses in the seventeenth century. The glorious picture of Finland was maintained in official writing of the time, intended to blaze abroad the names of countries belonging to Sweden at the height of her power. Unflattering descriptions of Finland on the other hand represented the perspective of those who were marginalized for various reasons – relating to politics or the hierarchy of the estates.

In the examination of discourses it is of the essence to ascertain from what institutional standpoint they are produced and what relation they bear to the practices of the dominant discourses. Different positions yield different portrayals of Finland and the Finns, for a discourse of wretchedness in sympathy with the grim reality of the populace of the discourse of a ghost land did nothing to further the more ambitious patriotism of the upper echelons of society.

Reading several discourses and examining the tensions between them along a synchronic axis gives a multidimensional picture of Finnishness. The picture gains depth through a diachronic perspective and an examination of the various conditions causing discursive trends to emerge, to recur, to vary and/or to cease.

The conditions causing discursive trends to vary boil down to discursive practices connected to each respective societal, social, and historical situation. It is these practices which explain what manner of information on Finland and the Finns could be represented at a given point in time, for they were linked to a specific formation of knowledge and logic.

The study shows that it was these discursive practices which were the defining factors in the direction given to information concerning Finland and the Finns, for the objects of examination themselves did not lead to specific apportioning of meaning. On the basis of atterition given it is possible to do away with several mythical conceptions concerning the Finns. For example, in the laudatory conceptions of the Finns' splendid military preparedness the issue was less one of the persuasiveness of the proof of the Finns' skills than of discursive practices in a mission to support military policy in a time of greatness. The conception were those of the discourse of national superiority which placed the nation of the writer in an ethnocentric position to the detriment of the relative positions and merit of other nations.

In discursive trends which the study monitors over a period of more than two hundred years, certain dear turning points can be described. The first of these can be located around the middle of the eighteenth century, when people's illusions of greatness were challenged by new, critical views, the discourse of scepticism. In the characteristic development profile of such a turning point old and new practices were dovetailed together. The new ones worked towards the predestined end results, but methodically the practice was as it had hitherto been, thus the critical stance included a goodly portion of patriotic desire to defend the nation and its virtues.

Another major turning point came after 1809, the year when Finland ceased to be under the sway of Sweden and became an autonomous grand duchy of imperial Russia. The new national status gave rise to a change in discursive practices and caused the leading men of culture to seek for content for a Finnishness seeking in turn its own place. In the manner characteristic of national representation meanings were sought by creating a confrontational situation between Finland and other nations. The consequence of the resulting discourse of home and hearth was, however, paradoxically a situation in which Finnishness was defined as negation – its only content being those features in which it differed from other nations.

The definition of Finnishness was hampered not only by lack of originality but also by the differences in the estates, which in part articulated the picture of the nation. As far as texts of the nineteenth century are concerned, it is as well to conceive of two nations, the cultivated and the unlettered, of which the former created the meanings regarding Finnishness and the latter had to be content with the less prestigious position of the object represented. The Finnish national poet, Runeberg, who produced the cultivated classes by appealing to the discourse of the ghost land in extolling the beauty of Finnish scenery saw the representation of the unlettered as nothing but a test of his poetic abilities: how was one to describe that section of the nation who were dirty and poor in spirit without sullying one's own literary style.

In the nineteenth century, however, the newspapers gradually began to provide a forum for the airing of national questions which took into consideration all manner of strata in the nation. J.V. Snellman, Finland's national philosopher, as among the first to avail himself of the possibilities of the journalistic genre, writing both for the cultivated classes and the common people. These articles, targeted at different readerships, show that the publishing forum and the putative readership produced for the writer various speaker positions and so also various discourses on the objects under scrutiny.

In the texts which Snellman wrote for the cultivated classes on Finland and the Finns there emerged clearly the points of the discursive struggle, for Snellman with his oppositional sceptical discourse challenged the dominant discourses to a dialogue, while for the common people he produced authoritative views on Finnishness. He presented his article like a lesson in which he addressed the prototype of the Finns, a man called Matti. While Snellman patronized his public with didactic admonishments the Finns came to be represented by way of the discourse of the bovine mass: they were a mindless herd of cattle and 'Finland' was in charge of them.

The same patronizing role recurred in the textbooks of the late nineteenth century intended for use in junior schools. They taught various things about Finland and in particular how the people could work for the good of the fatherland. This picture of Finland emphasizing hard work, which crystallized in the book Maamme ('=our country') by Z. Topelius, defines Finnishness to this very day.

What is interesting in Topelius' discourse of the bovine mass, as also in the recurring of other discourses described, is that the discourses defined by specific terms are considered fit to represent Finnishness of the present day. Thus those interests which produced the discourses are forgotten, and the impression is given that Finnishness is something eternal and everlasting. For example, the discourse of the bovine mass as in Topelius, which in the 1870s served the purpose of having the Finnish school system produce a labour force, gained ascendancy in the Finland of the 1990s, where this same discursive function did not exist. Finland was going through a period of unprecedented unemployment, and representations of Finns as industrious and hard-working were in no way likely to encourage the people, but rather to engender a feeling of guilt.

Vitriolic Verses shows that there are no everlasting, immutable meanings for Finnishness with which to make the modern Finns feel guilty or pressure them into working harder. The work seeks, by making a text analysis going against the mainstream drift, to unearth alternative interpretation models for national narrative traditions. Over the centuries such a rich and complex meaning potential for Finnishness has been created that it deserves to see the light of day. The fundamental question is whether the courage can be summoned up to renounce the dominant national discourses and take the plunge into a more multifarious Finnishness which takes a critical look at what it has built up.


Lähdeluettelo


Asiasanat: suomalaisuus, Suomi, Suomi-kuva, diskurssianalyysi, Suomen historia, Suomen kirjallisuus, Topelius, Messenius, Juslenius, Porthan, Arwidsson, Runeberg, Snellman, Foucault, väitöskirja

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