Pushing forward

I’ve had two very full days of reading and writing and editing in chapter three, and am starting to make real progress. It’s pretty messy, with things moving back and forth and in and out, so word counts are impossible (or at least too tedious to bother with). Yesterday I took out the Aanrud section but am leaving in Marie Hamsun for the time being. I added the Markens grøde and Skoggangsmand section, and did a read-through and edit of the whole chapter. I also got going on reading some of the secondary literature on Markens grøde. I read the chapter in Per Thomas Andersen’s Identitetens geografi, as well as the two articles on ecocriticism in the Hamsun anthology.

Today I checked out Øystein Rottem’s 2002 book, Hamsun og fantasiens triumf, which is really good. I started writing up the section on the hunting narratives, and also did some poking around for secondary literature on the genre. I found a couple of books and a special issue of the journal Western Folklore that deals with hunting culture. With luck that stuff will arrive pretty soon, though I don’t really need it to finish off the chapter draft. I think I’m still on schedule for finishing a rough draft this Friday. On my way home from work it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to move the section on Wergeland’s “Hytten” over to chapter two. As it stands now, it kind of interrupts the flow from Nansen to hunting narratives to Hamsun. If I move it into chapter two, I would just need to reframe it a little, maybe using it to signal the next phase of cabin culture that I discuss in chapter three, instead of trying to make it (a much older text) fit in with the turn-of-the-century works that the chapter is mostly about.

In non-cabin research news (yes, there is life after the cabin book–at least I hope so!), I spent a good deal of time over the Easter break thinking about a children’s literature project that I could present to the folks at Norsk barnebokinstitutt if I get called for an interview there. The ideas started to come together and I was able to whip up a rough project description. Figuring it was better to ask than not, I sent an email to the person in charge of their search, who told me to go ahead and send the proposal, even though it was well after the deadline. The person said they would obviously have to take into consideration that the proposal was late, but I do still think it strengthens my application.

Having had two really intense days of work has helped me get back on track, but I have to admit that I’m still feeling incredibly stressed out and anxious right now. I spent a good amount of time this morning finishing off small administrative tasks and making decisions about what items on my to-do list could legitimately be pushed forward into next week so that I can focus as much as possible on chapter three. It really helped to say consciously to myself that I am going to do that task, but not until next week.

Now the only thing between me and a finished chapter is the work itself, a child who may have to stay home sick from school, and filing my US income tax returns. Sigh.


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