Before and after teaching today I spent all my time trying to finalize the revisions to my article on Hallvard Bræin’s Gatas Gynt for the online proceedings volume based on this year’s International Ibsen Conference. I got so close to finishing, but there are just a couple of nagging details that I need to work out.
The most frustrating, and in a way most surprising (and least germane to my analysis, natch) has to do with Sigrid Undset’s famous characterization of Ibsen’s Solvejg as the “most radical” of all women characters in Norwegian literature. It gets quoted a lot, but I’m darned if I can find the original source for it. I’m lucky enough to have an office right across the hall from the world’s leading expert on Sigrid Undset (seriously. It’s Liv Bliksrud and she’s a rockstar in my world of Nordic Literature) and even she couldn’t come up with it in the limited amount of time she had to look (as a rockstar Scandinavianist she is also phenomenally busy). I tried the folks at Ibsen.net (they have a discussion question based on the quote on their website), but so far no luck there. My most amazing sleuth (the librarian at the Ibsen Centre) wasn’t available when I stopped by her office (a rarity!). I’m positive she knows the source, and I’ll probably be seeing her at an event tomorrow, so this will probably work out. It’s just so weird when sources for really obvious things turn out to be murky.
Sometimes I wonder whether there is an inverse relationship between the amount of time I spend tracking something down, and its importance to whatever I’m writing about.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’m not very proficient at using Google Scholar. Or rather, I had never used it until yesterday. Little did I know that you can set up a profile there and get statistics for how often your work gets cited. I’m sure this has been around for ages, but since I’m not in a field that tallies citations, it just never came up. It was interesting information to have, and led me to some interesting articles on things relevant to my (older) work. I loved the fact that I’m cited in multiple languages: Norwegian, English, Swedish, French, Russian, Finnish, and Chinese. 2006 was a banner year for citing me, apparently, and after that there has been a small but steady trickle of citations. That means that it took me over 10 years out from finishing the Ph.D. before my work started having any kind of an impact. Interesting tool to obsess over, I suppose.