Salonkultur und weibliche Autorschaft - Eine Untersuchung zu Malla Silfverstolpes Salon in Uppsala


  • Antje Wischmann


The rediscovery of salon culture in research of the mid-1990s stimulated studies that are focused specifically on feminine aesthetics in the salon‘s sphere of development.

In examining this positive orientation to salon culture, this contribution analyzes two texts that deal with Malla Silfverstolpe‘s salon in Uppsala.

1) Minnen, an autobiographical text of the salonière, which was created in constant interaction with salon activities.

2) Elfvornas Qvällar by Thekla Knös, who treats the rituals of common readings and literary discussions of the salon.

Because Minnen addresses an imaginary partner in correspondence, i.e. with a familiar you (Du), this text resembles a broadly conceived gallant letter. In the farce "Fredagsgästerne” it is revealed how the narrator, despite her claim to truth, is forced into a masquerade at salon events.

Elfvornas Qvällar criticizes the literary judgment of participants, because the core group is all-too intimately comfortable and prepossessed.

The half-public sphere of this salon, which emerged from overlapping aristocratic, academic, and private circles, gradually loses its public orientation and begins to resemble a bourgeois home in which the female participants take on prescribed roles.

Silfverstolpe‘s as well as Knös‘s potentials as developing writers were on one side promoted by the salon culture and in turn held in check by it on the other.