Suddenly there’s a bunch of things going on! I’m in Berkeley, CA for a week of meetings and one of the articles that I brought with me for working on the quirky feelgood article is Rick Altman‘s revision of his earlier work on Semantic/Syntactic film analysis, “Conclusion: A Semiotic/Syntactic/Pragmatic Approach to Genre.” I read it over breakfast this morning and all sorts of bells and flags went off in my head. I found his positioning of his approach in relation to reception studies really interesting, and he provides a pretty strong argument for his “pragmatics” of film genre that I think will help me attempt to define the quirky feelgood in terms of genre.
I also had two exciting emails this morning. One was from a colleague and it contained a link to an essay (in Norwegian) about the Skien International Ibsen Conference from a couple of weeks ago. The author’s point is that the Norwegian theater establishment should be ashamed of itself for not participating in an event that demonstrated in no uncertain terms the relevance of theater in political discourse.
But even more important for me was the email containing the peer review of my Peer Gynt book. I’ve been waiting a long time for this, and I was thrilled with how detailed and thoughtful the criticism is. Obviously I don’t like negative criticism any more than anyone else, and there are a couple of small points on which I disagree (I’m not changing my title!), but all in all the 9 pages of comments were really useful and actually kind of inspiring. I can now see where I’m not communicating clearly, or where something that I think is totally important and/or obvious doesn’t necessarily appear that way to another reader. At any rate, I’m excited to revisit the manuscript after it has lain dormant for so long. Though I’ll continue working on the quirky feelgood while I’m here in Berkeley, I think I’ll dive right into Peer Gynt when I get back to Norway.