15 Minutes

The cabin project is generating a modest amount of buzz here in Norway, even though the book won’t be out until February at the earliest, and even though the journalists who have been interviewing me have been almost completely uninterested in the fact that this is essentially a literature project, not a social history (with the one exception of the journalist from Morgenbladet who is a former student of mine).

There was an article in yesterday’s Aftenposten in the “bolig” (housing) section. I should note that the caption on the photograph of the seter is totally wrong, and I didn’t say that. What I said was that people from the city (mostly men) stayed in them when they went on hunting trips, not that they lived in them. I also said that poor people lived in what were called cabins (small, very humble houses). I think the journalist conflated the two.

It’s funny how much they all focus on my first meeting with one of my host families from when I was an exchange student. It’s actually kind of a vague memory, but my third family, with whom I did not live until the spring of that school year, took me for a trip to their cabin at Sjusjøen sometime in the fall so that we could get acquainted. I barely remember the details of the visit; mostly I just have the impression that I, as a sixteen-year-old, couldn’t figure out why they would take me to that place, rather than to their home!


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