En barock mentalitet och 1600-talet som motsatsernas tid
Exemplet Johan Ekeblad
Johan Ekeblad was a nobleman and diplomat during the period of the Swedish Empire in the seventeenth century who is mostly known for his letters, written in an impressionistic style. This article attempts to treat Ekeblad and his writing as an example of a baroque mentality, here defined as marked by dialectical relationships of old and new, order and disorder, religious and profane, lightness and seriousness. This baroque mentality is not uniquely Swedish in its utterances but is rather connected to a wider European context and shaped by European ideals and manners of the time, among other things the French ideal of the honnête homme. It is, however, closely tied to a specific historical situation in Sweden, as the country due to its new power entered on the European scene. The article takes into account Ekeblads experiences with cultural exchanges and travels abroad, his exploration of literature, both contemporary and older, his opportunities to take part in a more open Swedish cultural climate with diplomatic contacts and improved postal services. By analyzing Johan Ekeblads writing, we find he expresses – both consciously and unconsciously – those traits and ideals that prevailed among noblemen in Europe in the 17th century.