Criminal cabins

Although I haven’t been posting much here, I am making pretty good progress with the cabin book this week. On Wednesday I finally finished rereading De dødes tjern, and yesterday I got a little bit of writing done (366 words). Yesterday I had a bunch of other administrative tasks to do, and I also corrected the proofs for the Trolljegeren article, which is coming out just in time to be registered in the university’s publication database. Can’t wait to see that one in print, as it was such a fun and gratifying little project. Finally, late in the afternoon I watched the 1958 film adaptation of De dødes tjern, which I’m going to be screening and talking about in London next month. It’s kind of a weak movie, so I really hope I can do something interesting with it!

Today I have had a pretty productive period of writing. During the week I discovered that I had actually made a start at writing this chapter about six months ago, so I cobbled together that and what I had written recently into one document. I’ll probably have to eliminate some repetition, but for now I’m going to let it stand until I see how the structure of the chapter comes together.

At lunch time I took a break and watched a contemporary Norwegian horror film, Villmark from 2003, which has a ton of echoes and similarities with De dødes tjern. There is a lot that could be said about these two films, and I really do feel an article on Norwegian horror films brewing in the background, which I’ll just try to ignore for the time being.

I just now hit my goal of at least 2000 words for today, so I’m calling it quits. I was able to write quite a bit about the cabin in De dødes tjern, and also about how the book and film set up a new set of cabin conventions connected to the uncanny and to horror that pretty much weren’t there before in the Norwegian cultural imagination (or at least not expressed in the literature).

Anyway, it feels great to be on page twelve, and have a clear idea of where this chapter is going. I actually think I may have enough on De dødes tjern, at least for now, and I’m starting to contemplate diving into one of the other texts for the chapter. I suppose I could go back to the other Bjerke crime novels, since at least a couple of them are cabin-based too. But I’ve got both Alnæs and Larsen accessible here at home, so it will probably be one of them. I need too to pick up Hoel’s Syndere i sommersol, which I don’t think I have anywhere. The Larsen section will probably end up being the longest part of the chapter, since he wrote fully five cabin novels. Phew, lots to think about and work on! And in the meantime I really need to cobble together a job application by the end of next week (a long shot, but a really interesting position at a great location that would really stretch me as a scholar!).

Words written: 366 + 2128 = 2494


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