This was a productive day, though not exactly inspired, I fear. First off, it occurred to me that the cabin is so peripheral in To mistenkelige personer that I could probably work out whatever I needed to say about it based on a quick skim (having written extensively about the novel in two different articles, I know it really well, so I feel justified in what may sound like a really cavalier attitude). Having done that, it was a fairly easy task to sketch out about a page and a half on how the cabin motif functions differently here than in Larsen’s other novels.
I then did a bit more reading in Sneen som falt ifjor, but it suddenly struck me that I needed to take a look at the Larsen biography written by Størmer, since I had a recollection of a lot of cabin in Larsen’s real life too. As I suspected, the biographical information contained there was (for once) relevant to what I was wanting to say about the novels. So reading the biography served as a kind of catalyst, which allowed me to get down the basic outline of my thoughts on how the cabin functions in Sneen som falt ifjor. I still have to finish reading the text and then go back and expand what I’ve written to get in all the detail, but at least the skeleton is there now.
My plan for Monday is to go in to campus so that I can add these new sections into the chapter document and then take some stock. I need to pick up a couple of books at the library: Borgen’s short stories, plus a cabin novel by a woman author published in the early 1970s (I have the name and title written down in my campus office). I really need to read that one and decide what to do about it. I have so few women authors in this project and so little material from the postwar period that it would be a great addition, assuming it’s of any interest at all.
I wouldn’t say that what I wrote today comes any where near the (in my opinion) really cool new readings of the nineteenth-century texts I looked at in the first two chapters. I’m not sure whether that’s because I’m just running out of steam on the project, or that the material just isn’t as interesting, or whether I simply haven’t found the right historical or theoretical frame to make the material as interesting as it should be. It doesn’t feel like this chapter has much of a point yet. I’m hoping that once I have all the separate parts written up I’ll be able to read it through and figure out some way to take it up a notch or two.
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