chapter  8
Beyond shadow and play
Different representations of dementia in contemporary Scandinavian literature
ByNora Simonhjell
Pages 15

The concept of dementia is no longer limited to expert biomedical discourses, but it is integrated in popular culture, film and literature. It is important for the general understanding of the disease, that it is analysed from different perspectives. Dementia is a disease that has consequences far beyond the person diagnosed. Ageing and age-related illnesses, like dementia, constitute a growing topic in contemporary Scandinavian, and especially Norwegian, literature. According to the literary scholar Amelia DeFalco, the narrative from a relational perspective is dominant in dementia literature. This is due to the structural development in the disease itself. Loss of ability to communicate through verbal language and to tell a coherent story is one of the symptoms of dementia. Dementia plays a growing role in contemporary Scandinavian fiction. The literary examples are selected because they show the diversity in literary genres and perspectives. Despite the genre differences, there have many thematic and stylistic similarities.