This week I had three straight days of oral exams, one solid day of reading final papers (with a very energetic “sick” child home from school), and one full day of meetings and doing the end-of-term massive desk clean up (sorting and recycling the massive stacks of paper, returning library books, etc.). So no, no real research at all, though I did put together a conference abstract for a conference at the University of Bergen this coming June on Death in Literature. I was so excited to see the call for papers, as it’s the perfect venue to try out part of my Byatt analysis.
As of right now I’m contemplating attending four conferences in a six-month period. I’ve already decided to drop the annual SASS conference, which is being held in Salt Lake City this spring (I’ve been there enough times before that even the attraction of my fabulous colleagues and friends in SASS aren’t enough of a motivation to go through the grueling travel that would entail). But there are four within easy range that are really tempting:
- The North: A Literary, Musical and Artistic Myth in Paris, France 30-31 March 2012
- Tales of Death: Representation, Presentation, and History of Death in Literature in Bergen, Norway 11-12 May 2012
- The XIIIth International Ibsen Conference in Tromsø, Norway 18-23 June 2012
- The XXIXth International Association of Scandinavian Studies Conference: Literature and Law in Riga, Latvia 7-11 August 2012
I’ve just got one more grading meeting (to discuss my students’ final papers with the censor) on Monday, and that’s it for a very hectic fall term. During the archaeological excavation of my desk, I found the response to my analysis of Collett’s Amtmandens Døttre that a colleague gave me this summer. My goal is to clean that up along with the Peer Gynt manuscript by the 15th of January (or the submission deadline for the Ibsen position; whichever comes first).
As I work on those two editing tasks, I really need to start strategizing how to get back into the new material for the cabin book. The proposal I’ve submitted for the conference in Paris in March relates to chapter three (the fin-de-siecle hunter’s cabin motif). For some reason, I feel totally uninspired by the thought of that chapter, but experience tells me that if I just buckle down and start working, it will start to get interesting. The title is “The Anti-Modern Retreat: Exploitation and Abject Masculinity.” Two of the major textual analyses for that chapter are basically done (Hamsun’s Pan and Ibsen’s Når vi døde vågner), so it really shouldn’t be that hard. I think my problem is that the remaining texts I plan to work on don’t necessarily relate all that well. I think I need to do some more reading, both about the period itself (particularly on decadence) and of other literary texts that might also relate. I may also want to read more of the non-literary prose from the period. There are myriad hunting and travel narratives that present the image of the wholesome outdoorsman that these literary texts counteract.