>Today was one of those days that scholars live for. I woke up with some clear ideas for the chapter I’m working on, and got some uninterrupted time before everyone else got up to sketch them out in some notes. When I got into work I had a three hour stretch of time to work on the chapter before other commitments kicked in.
I did the fun job of cutting and pasting material from other projects (conference papers and an article) into the chapter, instantly increasing my word count by ten fold. Then I started working further on the ideas I had had earlier in the day, which all related to Camilla Collett’s Amtmandens Døttre, a novel I haven’t written about before, though I’ve taught it and read it many times. It’s all too vague to discuss here, but I started to suspect that my approach might just possibly have the potential to contribute something entirely original to the scholarship on that novel. I’m not quite sure yet, but I’m optimistic.
I also had some ideas relating to the rest of the chapter. Originally I thought that each of the six texts would receive equal weight, but now I’m wondering if I should divide it into four, with the first section devoted to the first three texts (all of which I’ve published on elsewhere) and then the latter three sections to Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn, Amtmandens Døttre and Synnøve Solbakken respectively. I’m thinking of all of the texts as examples (to a greater or lesser extent) of national romances in the sense described by Doris Sommer.
The chapter would break down to something like:
- no more than 5 pages of introduction and theory
- 10 pages of analysis of the seter motif in the early texts (Storm, Bjerregaard, Riis)
- 10 pages of analysis of the seter motif in Huldre-Eventyr og Folkesagn
- 10 pages of analysis of the seter motif in Amtmandens Døttre
- 10 pages of analysis of the seter motif in Synnøve Solbakken
Whoops, that looks kind of boring when I outline it like that. I’ll have to think about it. Another idea that came up was to contextualize the budeie or seterjente in relation to theories of the female national icon (like Britannia or Marianne), which I learned about recently from a WIP exchange with a colleague. It strikes me that this is almost the only way to make sense of the budeie, Aagot, in Fjeldeventyret, since she serves no purpose in the dramatic action of the play.
Tomorrow I have to go to an all day seminar, and I feel like I need to re-read the novel and the secondary literature again before I can pick up from here, but at least I got a solid chunk of the chapter worked out conceptually and on the page today.
WORDS ADDED/WRITTEN: a whopping 3,521!