NIELS KLIM'S UNDERGROUND JOURNEY. ON REASON AND EQUALITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IN THE LITERARY DISCOURSE OF 18TH CENTURY SCANDINAVIA (Polish title below)
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(Polish title: 'Podroz do krajow podziemnych Mikolaja Klimiusza'. O rozumie i rownouprawnieniu w osiemnastowiecznym dyskursie literackim w Skandynawii). The article presents the utopian novel, Niels Klim's underground journey, written by Ludvig Holberg, an 18th century Norwegian-Danish scholar and writer. The Holbergian text deals with several topics typical of the literary discourse of that period: religious tolerance, egalitarianism, the desire for power, and also the encounter between naturalness and non-naturalness, familiarity and foreignness, reality and fantasy. Our attention is drawn to the views on social equality between men and women as they are expressed in the novel. Although Holberg has a dualistic vision of the world, and the opposition between the masculine element and the feminine element is very clear in his texts, his ideas seem to be progressive in contrast with the main-stream ideology of the period. According to him, possessing masculine characteristics - meaning socially desirable ones - (e.g. being reasonable, brave or self-controlled) or possessing the opposite, feminine characteristics is not biologically determined. Rather, it is the result of several not always proper social processes such as upbringing and education. It has nothing to do with nature.
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