>Day 21/retreat day 2

>Første økt: I woke up with a fever and felt really terrible, but some ibuprofen, juice and warm tea seem to have helped. I started out by reading Tveterås’s article, then read through my own chapter two. There were quite a few things that stood out as needing revision, and it also became clear where I could insert a longish paragraph on Botten-Hansen’s Huldrebrylluppet and why I have chosen not to discuss it at length in the chapter. It was a relief to figure out what to do about Botten-Hansen, and especially that I didn’t have to revise chapter two in a major way. I then spent the next couple of hours revising the chapter, and am now calling it done. I tallied an increase of 534 words. I also discovered that I have repeated the same long quote from Witoszek in chapters two and four, so I took it out of chapter four, which is the longest chapter any way. It’s now down to 10,247 words. I’m going to take a little break now and then start preparing for my next økt, which will be adding new material to chapter three.

Andre økt: Well that was weird! I took Tore Rem’s article on the 2006 “Ibsen Year” with me to lunch hoping that he would have written something good about Ivo de Figueiredo’s Slipp meg: En bok om Henrik Ibsen, but he only mentioned it in passing. I did find some good stuff that works really well for my introduction, however. I had known that I was going to have to do some major cutting in the intro, so I just went ahead and started in on that after lunch. I started out with 3364 words and cut out a long section of 879 words. I replaced it with a new section linking cultural studies, politics and parody. I wrote 577 words, for a net loss of 320, and a net gain of a much stronger introduction to my book! I’m now going to say that it’s done and move on to rereading de Figueiredo and Nærum for chapter three.

Tredje økt: For the last two hours or so I have totally cranked on chapter three. I added an additional 1518 words, and have cleaned it up a lot. I think all the analysis is in place now, so from here on out it’s just polishing. My plan now is to do some polishing of the last remaining chapter (five) after dinner, get a good night’s sleep, and get up early in order to bang out a rough conclusion to the book before I have to leave here at 10:30. If I can do that I will have accomplished everything I set out to do on this retreat. But I’m already further along than I had hoped for. This is definitely an outstanding way to get complicated work done. I’m already excited to get home and start celebrating the Christmas season with my family undistracted by this book!

Siste økt: Right before going to dinner I got a bee in my bonnet and laid down about 180 words of … gasp… conclusion. I can’t believe it. I broke the ice on the part of the book that has been haunting me for months. It was a relief just to get something on paper. In doing so it occurred to me that it might be worth taking a second look at Asbjørn Aarseth’s 1978 article, “Peer Gynt som tolkningsproblem,” so I started skimming it over dinner. I couldn’t even finish it because so many bells started going off in my head. I also got a good idea for a brief paragraph to add to the introduction, in which I make a clear case for including non-literary material in my analysis. That’s done, and now I’m about to start in on the conclusion, leaving chapter five for tomorrow morning. My goal is to work until “Storbynatt” at 10:30, if I can stay awake that late, that is.

Siste økt, part two: Phew. I can’t believe I made it onto the fifth page of the conclusion. I wrote the paragraph on Aarseth and roughed out each of the paragraphs summarizing the five chapters. And since I was closing in on 4000 words total for the day, I tried to come up with something sweeping to say about the whole book. It’s probably gibberish, but I made it to a huge milestone, and who knows, it might actually be usable. Now I’m really mentally exhausted, and am throwing in the towel for the night. Even if I don’t get anything written tomorrow, this retreat has been phenomenally useful (and if I can squeeze out 200 words tomorrow I will have broken 5000 words total for the retreat)!



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