Today was a weird day. After critiquing a colleague’s article draft I settled down to reading background material for chapter two. I had a total aha experience from reading the introductory chapter to Virgil Nemoianu’s The Taming of Romanticism: European Literature and the Age of Biedermeier . The book presents a two-stage understanding of romanticism that the author divides into high romanticism (roughly 1790-1815) and the watered-down (or more rational, depending on your point of view) Biedermeier (roughly 1815-1848). This makes total sense to me, and I am really enjoying reading his comparative study, which argues that the specifically German term “Biedermeier” makes sense in other literary contexts as well. He doesn’t mention Scandinavia (at least not as far as I can tell so far), but much of what he says applies directly to what I’m working on.  

It struck me that Biedermeier really is a term that could shed new light on that backwater in Norwegian literature. I’m really stoked about pursuing this further, and banged out a little over a page that I think may turn into a new article. The current working title is “Romantikk, poetisk realisme, Biedermeier: 1814-1848 som norsk litteraturhistorisk problem.” I’m really excited about this! At first I was thinking that I could some how integrate it into chapter two, but it really is a different (though tangentially related) subject.So no writing on the chapter, but I got a lot of relevant reading done and apparently have started a new project…


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