Crash and burn

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week turned out to be incredibly frustrating. I am having major problems working out chapter three, and I’ve basically had to (grudgingly) admit that there’s just no way I can finish it this week.

I spent much of Tuesday reading Markens grøde as planned, though I didn’t finish it (long book!). All the while I had some nagging suspicions that the decision to reinsert the Sidsel Sidsærk section was a bad one, and that, even further, the Bygdebørn section probably needs to be jettisoned too. So that leaves me with only the intro on Nansen (which I’m happy with), the section on Wergeland’s “Hytten,” the incomplete section on Ibsen’s Når vi døde vågner (still need to add the new material on Ulvhejm and pare down the long section on the scenography), and the complete section on Hamsun’s Pan. In other words, I need more material. I skimmed Jonas Lie’s two volumes of short stories, Trold I and Trold II, but found nothing useful. And then I started to panic. Not pretty!

Yesterday I tried to pull myself together, and think about what can save the chapter. All along I have in the back of my mind wondered whether I should include some kind of section on hunting narratives. I mentioned this to a colleague yesterday, who thought it was a great idea. I said I didn’t even know where to start in locating the most important authors and texts, and my colleague suggested just sending an email to the National Library’s reference staff. It would never had occurred to me to do that, but I did, and within an hour I received an email with a list of author names and a PDF-file of a bibliography of hunting literature compiled in 1939! Amazing! The list and the bibliography are more than enough to get me started.

Today my plan is to finish reading Mikkjel Fønhus‘ Troll-Elgen (1921) and Markens grøde. I’m almost done with Troll-Elgen and I can tell it’s not going to work for the chapter, but I think maybe Skoggangsmand, Fønhus’ debut novel from 1917 might.

Most of the hunting literature isn’t available in the University Library, and most can’t even be checked out at the National Library, so I’m planning to spend the day there tomorrow mapping out what’s available and what might be relevant for my chapter. I’d also really like to draft at least a couple of paragraphs on Markens grøde by the end of tomorrow. Next week is Easter break, so I really won’t be able to do much work. What work time I do have is going to have to be devoted to reading crime fiction so that I can determine which works to put on the syllabus for my seminar in the fall. I think the deadline for that is the week after Easter. Of course it’s entirely culturally appropriate to be reading crime fiction during Easter here in Norway…

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