Cavalcade

So much has been going on in the days since my last post that I fear I may never be able to get it all down here. Most importantly, my four lectures on four only remotely related topics in five days in two cities in the UK seems to have gone pretty well. First was Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea and Romantic Theater, with reference to a bunch of performances staged at the Norwegian National Theater. Later in the week I got to see a preview performance of The Lady from the Sea at the Rose Theatre in Kingston along with two of the folks from UCL. It was great to see a live performance, though I had many problems with the production. I loved the scenography, but hated the acting.

Next was cabins and Norwegian crime/horror films, with André Bjerke’s Lake of the Dead as a point of departure. The lecture took place in the wonderfully creepy Grant Museum of Zoology, with skeletons and pickled body parts all around. Then on Friday I gave a morning class on emplacing Pe(e)r Gynt in the Norwegian landscape before rushing off to catch a train to Edinburgh and giving a lecture in the Scottish Parliament on Norwegian cabin culture in general. The experience of being in the building there was quite exciting. Every detail of the interior seemed to have some kind of symbolic function. I would love to read an analysis of the building as a national icon.

I didn’t really get any other work other than reading done while I was there, as it was all just too fun and exhausting. On the plane ride home, though, I did get in a little burst of writing on Hoel’s Syndere i sommersol. It was only about 1000 words, but as always every little bit counts.

While I was there, I heard back from the editors of two volumes of essays that I had submitted something to, and both were accepted. The one (on Bjørnson’s “sæterromantik”) needs expanding, so I’ve been working on that today, and added just under 500 words there. I’ll need to spend at least a couple more days getting it into shape, as they want me to at least touch on a couple of the other Bjørnson texts that make use of the seter motif. The other essay (the one on Maurits C. Hansen’s “Luren”) isn’t due for quite a while, so I’m not so worried about that.

The one thing I really needed to do but couldn’t because of technical problems is the revision to the Byatt article. It’s not going to take me long at all, but it turns out that this two weeks is exactly when everything that could go wrong with my word processing and computers is going wrong. I can’t open MS Word on my laptop at home, I can’t open older Word documents (non- .docx files) on the version of Word that’s on my computer at work, and I managed to forget to email the paper to myself so that I could work on it in Pages on my iPad while I was on the UK. Tomorrow if I still don’t have either of the Word problems worked out, I’m just going to do the revisions in Pages here on my work computer and hope for the best. I will get this revision done tomorrow, or else! I sincerely loath all the updating of Word that goes on seemingly constantly. Why can’t we just stick with the basics folks.

I also need to pull myself together and write up an abstract for the Graphic Novel conference I want to go to in September. The plan is to talk about Øystein Runde and Geir Moen’s two De fire store graphic novels. Oh, and I just got asked to write a review of what looks to be a really interesting new book on Nordic crime fiction.

And if all that isn’t enough, there’s still the cabin book there looming in the background. Technically the work on Hoel, Bjerke and Bjørnson is a part of that, but I still feel like I’m not getting any where.

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