No writing progress to report since my last post, but my brain has been in overdrive after the extraordinarily stimulating Ibsen seminar I attended on Thursday and Friday. It was my first real exposure to the theorization of “world literature” as a phenomenon, which is more than a little embarrassing given that I teach a course called “Norwegian World Literature”! I can’t remember the last time I went to a seminar that so thoroughly got me cranked up.
The papers presented were of a consistently high quality, and I now have lots of new ideas about how to think about Ibsen’s work to chew over. I don’t think that I’m going to drop what I’m doing and start doing the kind of research that I heard presented, but I do think it will influence the way I contextualize the works I’m analyzing, and it will also probably cause me to slightly shift the way I situate my research. One of the things that became really clear to me as I was listening to the long series of specialists in areas other than Nordic literature is what a through-and-through Scandinavianist I am in my training. That has both strengths and weaknesses, of course.
There’s not much more I can write here, since I have dozens of not-fully-formulated ideas swarming around in my head. With luck, some of it will start to fall into place…
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