Look to Denmark

Right. The onerous book review is finally submitted. I can’t believe it took me so long to get it done. It’s now time to push ahead onto more interesting and relevant things. I’m still processing the suggestions that I got at the literature and death conference for the cabin book (for example reading Merethe Lindstrøm’s Steinsamlere), and have been thinking a lot about the introduction and the first chapter, which currently lacks a real-life cabin example like the other chapters have.

I did a little poking around in some late 18th century/early 19th century sources to see whether I might be able to unearth something relevant. There are two estates in Denmark that had specifically “Norwegian” cottages built on them–Sanderumgaard and Sophienholm. I’ve sent off emails to both places asking for further information. One of those might work. It was actually Anne-Marie Mai who mentioned them to me at a seminar ages ago. I did a little looking at the time, but not enough to dig up anything concrete. At the time there was just so many other cabin-related things to focus on, but now I’m starting to circle back to that early 19th century material again.

I was oriented toward Denmark today in other ways too, since I had to call the publisher that I’m thinking of sending my Peer Gynt book to, and because I started reading about the Danish-Norwegian painter Johannes Flintoe in hopes of finding a specific cabin in his biography that I might be able to use (no luck so far), and of course because the book I was reviewing is Danish. It turns out Flintoe is a really interesting character who is right at the center of the matrix of authors and ideas that I’m writing about, so I’m really hoping there’s a way to work him into that first chapter as an example. If not him, maybe Conrad Nicolai Schwach has a relevant cabin association?

We’ve now got two (more…) days off for holidays here in Norway, so there’s not a lot of work I’ll be able to get done other than some sporadic reading over the four-day weekend. My suspicion is that next week I’ll dive into the cabin book, even though I really should get that damned Fruen fra havet article squared away.

Speaking of Ibsen, there’s a bit of a tempest in a teacup brewing. Apparently some Ibsen scholars put together a seminar on Kjærlighedens komedie at the National Library and chose not to inform anyone at the Ibsen Centre or the Nordic literature program at the University of Oslo. Naughty, naughty! Obviously I would have happily attended had I known about it, but the deadline to sign up was over a month ago. Bummer, as I know far too little about that particular play, and would love to hear presentations on newer research on it.

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