>Day 2

>Started reading Hans Aaraas’ Peer Gynt: En drøm om en drømmer og hans drøm. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1995 this morning. It is a phenomenological reading of PG, and it got me thinking about chapter one and my Deleuzian reading. I am thinking of how to restructure that chapter so that I present my own reading in opposition to three philosophical interpretations. One I already have from the article version. One I’d like to add is a discussion building off of Kristin Gjesdal’s article, “Ibsen om Hegel, kulturelt besserwisseri og den store kunstens begynnelse.” I should also probably add Gisle Selnes’ “Ibsens orientalisme: En hegeliansk historie,” which I haven’t read yet. And then I might also add Aaraas as a third example, though I’m not exactly sure.

Once on campus I picked up three books at the library:

  • Hansen, Erik Fosnes, ed. Per Gynt-Gården: En gjestebok. Oslo: Forlaget Press, 2008.
  • Iversen, Ragnvald. Ibsen-ordbok: Ordforrådet i Henrik Ibsens samlede verker. Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1858.
  • Larsen, Trond Jahr. Peer Gynt-koden. Oslo: Abstrakt, 2006.

The first of these is a total treasure trove of material for chapter four. I was able to add about 200 words to the chapter, and have ideas for a lot more. In particular, an essay by Kjell Arild Pollestad got me thinking of Per Gynt-Gården as a place of pilgrimage, which in turn got me curious about literary pilgrimage (or tourism) in general. Assuming that there’s been work done to theorize this I went to the MLA database and found the following reference:

  • Watson, Nicola J., ed. Literary Tourism and Nineteenth-Century Culture. Basingstoke, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

This looks really promising, with tons of fun articles. I think it will help me construct the theoretical component that is missing from chapter four.


ETA: I’m not even done reading the introduction to Literary Tourism and Nineteenth-Century Culture and I can already tell this is going to be really useful. Here’s an important quote for framing my chapter four:

  • “[…] writers on place and literature have usually been more interested in the effect of place upon an individual author’s oeuvre […] than in how an oeuvre might have shaped the subsequent history of a place” (4-5). Right on! The author goes on to argue that literary scholars have been embarrassed by the (“lowbrow”) phenomenon of literary tourism, which is why it is only now that scholars are starting to pay attention to it. 

Another good formulation:

  • “With the de-differentiation of the literary from other forms of story-telling, scholars of the cross-media migration and adaptation of a story in popular culture have become aware of tourism as a form of adaptation” (6). Yes! Yes! Yes!

Right there I’ve learned a term for what I’m looking at, “cross-media migration” and the paragraph goes on to describe the newly formed field of studies know as “heritage studies,” which is also totally relevant to what I want to do. Watson describes it as describing “[…] how literary heritage is expressed in place” (6)!!!!

Watson cites the following really promising sources for heritage studies:

  • Newby, Peter. “Literature and the Fashioning of Tourist Taste.” Humanistic Geography and Literature. Ed. Douglas Pocock. London: Croom Helm, 1980.
  • Pocock, Douglas. “The Experience of a Literary Place.” Humanistic Geography and Literature. Ed. Douglas Pocock. London: Croom Helm, 1980.
  • Fawcett, Clara and Patricia Cormack. “Guarding Authenticity at Literary Tourism Sites.” Annals of Tourism Research  28.3 (2001): 686-704
  • Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums and Heritage. Berkeley, CA: U California P, 1998. Here’s the kicker: “[…] tourists travel to actual destinations to experience virtual places” (9).
  • Herbert, David T. “Literary Places, Tourism, and the Heritage Experience.” Annals of Tourism Research 28.2 (2001): 312-33

Then there’s Watson’s own book, The Literary Tourist: Readers and Places in Romantic and Victorian Britain (2006), which I absolutely must read. Here’s how she summarizes it:

[…] a history and a taxonomy of literary tourist sites, principally British, from the late eighteenth century through to the late nineteenth, arguing that literary place is (counter-intuitively) produced by writing mediated by acts of readerly tourism, and that it is the internal dynamics of an author’s works, buttressed by a particularised series of intertexts and associated publishing practices, which produce literary place, and not the other way around (however strenuously place may subsequently be organised to look like the originating ground for writing). Identifying the ways in which texts solicit readers to locate and re-experience them within the specificities of place, the book also examines how places have been designed to accrete, secrete, and authenticate “memories” of writers and of works, effecting in aggregate a mapping of national literary heritage onto a national mythic geography. (Literary Tourism 7)

Wow. That’s exactly what I’ve been writing about, but I was completely unaware of all of this prior research. It will be so helpful to have this to build upon!


Since I was at a four-hour mentoring meeting, the only other thing I had time for was to piece together a paper proposal on Gatas Gynt for the 2011 SASS conference in Chicago. I now really have to stop working on this fun stuff and turn my attention to preparing for tomorrow. Drat. Just when things are getting good! I do think I’ll swing by the library and pick up the book on literary tourism though! Oh, I did try calling that person at the amateur theater company in Lillehammer, but she didn’t answer her phone.

PAGES/WORDS WRITTEN: a little over 200 words


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