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Abstract

In his paper, "Reading Liksom's Short Story 'We Got Married' in a Cultural and Political Perspective," Erkki Vainikkala examines Rosa Liksom's short story as well as one reader's response to the text. In Vainikkala's analysis, the short story is described as a structure of inversions and reversals where sequences are opened and cut short, standpoints are offered and taken back immediately, and where the code of realism is suggested but not carried out as the development of the story lacks convincing motivation. The resulting effect of exhaustion, evident also in the manifestation of pathological narcissism in the story, is seen in connection with the state of culture in late modernity. The reading of the story by an Estonian woman, in turn, is interpreted as a political allegory of the situation in the country: it is shown how the dynamics of the reader response is influenced by the type of the research questions and also how different elements of Liksom's story are grouped together to serve the respondent's struggle of allegorization. A part of this rearrangement is a strong transformative reading of the male character. Vainikkala also reflects on the nature of reading and draws attention to the function of narrative thresholds. The latter aspect qualifies contextual approaches by pointing to the pedagogical importance of a text-oriented ethics of reading.

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