Outburst!

Huh. That was weird. I woke up this morning with a really urgent sense that I need to get in contact with publishers about my cabin book and about the new book project (“The Multimodal Ibsen”). Ever since I ran into an editor I know (okay, the only editor I know) at a book launch last week, I had been thinking it might be a good idea to send her the proposal for the Multimodal Ibsen project, but I hadn’t actually been thinking about doing anything with the cabin book at all.

I know where I don’t want to send it (two publishers that shall remain nameless). There’s one obvious choice for where I should start, so I checked out their website this morning and started pulling together my proposal. This particular publisher asks for two sample chapters. I’ve only done revisions on one of the five so far this fall, and was sort of thinking that I’d put off the other four for a while. But with my newly-discovered motivation for getting a prospectus together that obviously has to change. It also seemed obvious that I should revise chapter one to submit along with chapter three. I dug out my colleague’s comments from this summer and looked them over. A couple of things became clear immediately:

  1. I need to ax the analysis of the “seter” motif in Amtmandens Døttre. The analysis of the fisherman’s cabin in the next chapter is good, and it’s just confusing and weird to have sections on the same book in two different chapters. Plus my colleague slaughtered this analysis section, and the guy knows what he’s talking about…
  2. In a sudden flash, I realized that I could use Knud Bergslien’s painting of a shieling (“En Aften ved Sæteren“) for which Ibsen wrote a poem (“Højfjeldsliv“) in 1859, and which was then performed as a tableau at Christiania Theater as the “real world” locus to frame that chapter. Okay, I know that a painting isn’t the same thing as a real cabin, but I think it might work really well as a parallel to the four actual cabins that introduce the following chapters. (If this sounds familiar it’s because I wrote about this topic a few weeks back in this post)
  3. I need to insert explicit discussion of the concept of the heterotopia throughout. This is also now obvious.

Taking out the Amtmandens Døttre part will give me room to add the intro on the “seter” painting/poem/performance and strategically placed commentary on the heterotopia. Golly, I think this might actually work.

I just can’t express how incredibly privileged I feel to have the head space and to let ideas percolate and marinate. This fellowship is, as I’ve said many times before, the best thing that has ever happened to me professionally. I don’t know how I could have ever gotten this far with my research without it. If I had a regular academic position, it would probably be completely unreasonable to think that I could get this chapter revision whipped up and sent out in just a couple of weeks, but for me right now that’s totally do-able. Only two more months left–must make the most of it!

Oh, and I did update my CV thoroughly (so hard to keep up!) and send off the other publisher inquiry. That one was easy because it basically just required sending the proposal I had already put together for the grant. I don’t really expect a positive response, so I’ll be looking into other appropriate Norwegian publishers. It did feel extremely good to start the process, though.

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