"Grift-runor, skrifne 1769"

En ärekränkande och blasfemisk gravdikt av Brynolph Hallborg


  • Daniel Möller Lunds universitet




Epitaph, decorum, defamation, parody, blasphemy, Brynolph Hallborg


“Sepulchral Runes, Written in 1769” A Defamatory and Blasphemous Epitaph by Brynolph Hallborg

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are the golden age of the poetic epitaph in Sweden and Europe. Most epitaphs were shaped in accordance with the principle of decorum, i.e., they were written to praise the dead and to comfort the bereaved. But there were also poems that sought to instead find faults with the deceased, sometimes even to insult their memory. A form of funeral poetry that was not uncommon during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, although not hitherto studied in Sweden, consisted of defamatory, parodic, burlesque, and wickedly humorous verse. This kind of poetry is highly diverse in character, spanning a wide range of moods, from mildly derisive to extremely demeaning poems, with everything from good-natured jocular and comical pieces to coarse, malicious, acutely ironic, and crudely sarcastic texts.

An original and highly defamatory epitaph in lapidary style, “Grift-Runor” (Sepulchral Runes), was composed by Brynolph Hallborg (1736–1792). Hallborg’s well-documented preoccupation, or even obsession, with death, along with his interest in parody, sarcasm, and blasphemy, make him a rarity in Swedish literature. At the time, Hallborg’s poem attracted attention and was commented on by Thomas Thorild. The poem can be regarded as an extreme example of a larger eighteenth-century process: the relaxation of the principle of decorum.


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Daniel Möller, Lunds universitet

Docent och forskare i litteraturvetenskap vid Lunds universitet. Han har bland annat skrivit en avhandling om djurepitafier från 1600- och 1700-talen (2011, engelsk övers. 2015) och forskat om Gunnar Ekelöfs och Olof von Dalins pekoralpastischer. Tillsammans med Niklas Schiöler har han redigerat antologin Svensk poesi (Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2016), och tillsammans med Alison Sharrock och Mats Malm är han redaktör för Metamorphic Readings: Transformation, Language, and Gender in the Interpretation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Oxford University Press, 2020).




Referera så här

Möller, D. (2022). "Grift-runor, skrifne 1769": En ärekränkande och blasfemisk gravdikt av Brynolph Hallborg. Tidskrift för Litteraturvetenskap, 51(3-4). https://doi.org/10.54797/tfl.v51i3-4.1639