Wednesday, April 30

one of the greatest loves of all

Of all the places I have lived, there's no place I have loved like I love Tromsø. My competent photographer friend Anne Mangen has kindly allowed me to share these shots from this weekend on my blog: Thank you! - I long since realized that my heart belonged to Tromsø - and it hurts to see these pictures, because it's been so long since I was last there... I cried my brave tears the first years in May when spring had hit southern Norway and the snow kept falling. I continued crying when I thought winter was gone, and I woke up June 15th and it snowed so heavily I could not identify the mountains 1 km away... Then I learned to appreciate the springliness of the light nights. When I lived abroad all I missed about Norway was the calm winter dark. The chilly September air that rushes down from the sugar white Tromsdalstind walking to the university. I love the midnight sun - I love the dark months - I love the snow - I love the green, green summers - I love the people - I love the town - imagine a town with an airport and a university and everything a metropole needs; in the middle of nowhere - in the middle of wild nature - I love it all. Take me back to Tromsø.

Tuesday, April 29

pure expectancy

I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait I can't wait - and now it's here! My Hasle & Helle sending from William Dam has arrived. I'm incapable of explaining the sparkly feeling inside when I know that recommended books from recommendable people are waiting at the post office... These books were sent from Denmark last week, I expected them before the weekend. Now they make me put aside the article I was (looking forward to) working on tonight (sorry, Voloshinov - you'll have to wait until tomorrow...) - and instead I have wandered about the house baking muffins & wheat buns - the kids are put to bed (4 for the night) - now brewing myself a nice pot of tea - shivering with expectancy of just sinking into the sofa with one of three novels. Don't know where to start don't know where to start don't know where to start...

Leif Hasle Rejse mod strømmen (2000)
Leif Hasle Den ottende dagen (2005)
Helle Helle Ned til hundene (2008) - read about someone who loves Helle Helle here;

gaining wife points

I spent this morning gaining wife points (to trade for more nerdy research time? ;) - and possibly some external mother points, too (not internal; my kids are too young for this...) I wouldn't put to much into it - but there seems to be a certain silent respect involved when you queue up number 7 in line to secure a copy of the scarce GTA IV for PS3 and everyone in front of you is male teenagers. It doesn't seem to shrink as the queue quickly grows to 60 - still 99 % young men - and one and another (seemingly) fellow mother or wife.

I realize my gendered prejudism here; they might have been gamers, too -. Me - I tend to avoid the gaming consolls because it doesn't take time (at all) to get hooked; and I just don't have time for that. I never understood the computer game thing with key board steering - but the Game Cubes, The Wiis the PS3s - hmmm... they definitely have what it takes to make people addicted - which is also why I have a certain level of understanding for the frustration my kids express when I cut them off in the middle of a game (if they don't turn it off after having had their time to save & then some). - and I do see that used with a certain amount of critical distance - and with certain restrictions on time use, it can be a good distraction even for adults. (Yes, yes - I have recently been there with Fahrenheit... although not purely for distraction!!)

PS. I got a copy for my brother in law, too. He had queued up in front of the wrong store, where they only had 50 ex... Geez... So many happy men...

Monday, April 28

bo kaspers orkester

I have really had a lot a splendid moments with Bo Kaspers Orkester the last year. These last weeks I have been hooked on Långsamt that I haven't listened to all that much before. I already really like En man du tyckte om, and I samma bil is a definite favourite along with a lot of other tunes from Hund.

Right now all I really want to do is go to a Bo Kaspers concert. I cannot seem to find any tickets on the internet. Anyone?

doing good - marstein meetings and non-meetings

Trude Marstein's Gjøre godt (2006) can be said to be all about meetings and non-meetings - from beginning to end. The way the novel's story is unveiled, from the points of view of 118 different persons moving about the same small town one summer weekend; their lives intersecting more or less consciously - it offers a perfect image of the mingling co-existence we move about in - and the impact actions and choices we make have on people passing by - emotionally or physically close to us. There are so many destinies decided by what wasn't dared done - what wasn't then said - and what was! - for different reasons - but all the more crucial for what will come.

From page 410 to 419 we observe one of the longer moments recounted. Markus (27) is sitting in a restaurant for the second hour alone waiting for his girl friend who is at home breast feeding their daughter Malene, trying to get her to sleep before joining Markus for a meal. Up from the basement comes Beate (35) who has madly left a school reunion after one of those really embarassing party games that are only fun for the (really few) "successful" among us (having normally planned them?!) - and after an instant smile, he invites her over with an arm movement. Single mother of two she obviously does not think highly of herself - and she has had a secret wish for perhaps meeting someone at the party - finally out in a setting where that might be done, although - as she puts it - she has had no expectation of doing so. She tells Markus she has not had sex in two years. She thinks she might have to wait until the kids move out to do so - and she gets tears in her eyes realizing it won't be until at least in ten years. Markus finds her really sweet - and comforts her by saying it will happen when she least expects it. They talk about the complications of trying to find someone to love - and together they formulate thematically the title of the book:

"Nei, mennesket er jo tross alt et flokkdyr, sier hun, biologisk, jeg tror opprinnelig at det har en trang til å bety noe for andre, på en eller annen måte, bety noe. Ja, gi noe, sier jeg. Hjelpe hverandre, sier hun. Være gode mot hverandre, sier jeg. Hun har så myke hender. Vi sitter og holder hverandre i hendene mens vi snakker og snakker, og jeg tenker at det er bra at vi holder hverandre i begge hendene, hvis ikke ville jeg tatt på henne på hele kroppen, og det kan jeg ikke, det må jeg ikke, men hendene."

Beate sees herself as a lot older than Markus (8-9 years). The moment is broken by the phone ringing; Sonja, Markus' girl friend has put their daughter to sleep and is coming to join him. Markus tries not to let go of Beate's hands as he speaks on the phone, and gets hold of it again when he has hung up.

"Jeg stryker tommelen over håndbaken hennes, den valker seg mykt. Jeg må gå, sier jeg. Ja, sier hun. Jeg er helt nødt, sier jeg. Ja, jeg skjønner det, sier hun. Vi sitter helt rolig. To minutter til, sier jeg. Hun smiler så vidt. Skal du tilbake, sier jeg. Dit. Jeg peker på trappen. Hun rister på hodet. Nei, sier hun. Eller, jeg får se. Jeg venter i alle fall litt. Kanskje jeg bare kan få gi deg et lite kyss, sier jeg. Jeg lener meg over bordet og kysser henne lett på munnen, hun sukker gjennom nesa mens jeg gjør det. Hun krever ingenting mer enn det jeg kan gi henne, og det er nesten ingenting. Kanskje vi ses igjen en annen gang, sier jeg, her, eller et annet sted. En liten flekk av spyttet hennes på overleppen min kjennes kjølig. Kanskje, sier hun."

Markus leaves. He sees a couple making out outside a restaurant.

"Vi skulle ha ligget sammen. Jeg blir sikker på at det hadde vært bedre om det hendte oftere at noen lå sammen. At jo flere som lå sammen, jo bedre hadde det blitt å leve her, også for de som ikke lå med noen, at det ville vært bra for menneskene, jeg tror det. Jeg tror ikke det er bra å unngå å ligge sammen når det å ligge sammen kjennes som det mest riktige av alt."

- and people meet and they nearly meet and they almost, but really don't meet. -and what's there to it? The tiniest choice might have life changing impact - it's really all about appreciating becoming. There is a potential choice at every instance.

kent the head phones. Bakhtin on my lap. Now heading on to Voloshinov again. Soon to be writing.

Sunday, April 27

knitting my way home

I am knitting intensively now. I want to finish my Valerie - but fast! - so I get time to knit a blue silk tweed shawl for a Danish colleague before mid May, too!

confirmative weekend

Saturday, April 26

conferences coming up

I have an exciting list of upcoming conferences & seminars that I am attending this year. The first is a three-day Bakhtin seminar with the research network Nordic Bakhtin Dialogue - and is due May 27th - 29th - partly at Schæffergården outside Copenhagen - partly at Copenhagen University Amager, where we are keeping an open session the last day. I'm talking about the potential for considering an aesthetic event within a dialogic discourse analysis for the closed seminar - and about "Sara Stridsberg's polyphone Drömfakulteten as a gendered aesthetic event" at the open part.

In July/August I'm heading for Canada and the XIII Bakhtin conference. My paper is called "Dialogical discourse analysis?" - and I am so looking forward to an entire week of splendid talks and discussions!!

In Octobre I am heading for Växjö in Sweden for Writing in a post-Derridean era - where I am talking about
"Ideology of Form in Sara Stridsberg’s Drömfakulteten (2005)" - This is also an incredibly exciting event, and I cannot wait to get there.

In November we are hosting our long planned STING -2008 - Kjønn og estetikk i et flermedialt perspektiv - highlighting the 2,5 year work in the gender and aesthetics study circle. I haven't quite decided what I aill be talking about there yet - but it will definitely be within gender/aesthetics/bakhtin - with or without Sara Stridsberg...

Friday, April 25

back to reality

In case some of you got the incorrect impression that I am always sitting in the sun - Wednesday I flew to Bergen for a board meeting in Vest-Norsk Nettverk-Forskerutdanninga. The sun shone there, too.


Helle Helle was merely the pre Bakhtin session! Bakhtin's aesthetic event is what continues to trigger me - and I am just so privileged being able to spend my working life concentrating on such vital reflections & writing!

helle helle and an uncomplicated life with a man

Helle Helle and "Forestillingen om et ukompliceret liv med en mand" came along for reading in the sun the other day. - with tea, biscotti and a sun warming enough for first bikini session on the terrace this year I dare say my life seemed happily uncomplicated for a moment ;)

Monday, April 21

a room of one's own

My favourite super princess eldest niece - to whom I am also the Godmother - is candidate for civil confirmation next Saturday (even though she was just born-.) What better to offer her than Virginia Woolf's "A room of one's own" (and a plane ticket to Copenhagen...)?

evening sun in my kitchen

The sun has come around. Our north bound kitchen with the splendid view of the fjord and the mountains once again gets direct sun light in the evening. Mmm... We're approaching summ-mmm-er...

aunting, knitting, hammocking

Saturday, April 19

meetings and non-meetings

- in Trude Marstein's Gjøre godt. I am trying to find out whether to include Marstein in the selection to be analyzed for my PhD thesis. Meanwhile I am looking forward to blogging about meetings and non-meetings - that I have also written about in my text on Sara Stridsberg - but not before tomorrow. Now; a quiet evening with some knitting...

guacamole dip to die for

3 avocados, 3 dl sour cream, squeezed garlic to your liking - crush with a fork - serve with for instance vegetables, chips or barbecued food.

to the lighthouse

After the exhibition opening Alma invited us for coffee and cake at the lighthouse! Lovely weather - lovely company - lovely conversations.

you might as well face it: you're addicted to love

Exhibition opening at Hå gamle prestegard today:
Tonje Høydahl Sørli
er biletkunstnar, og arbeider med teikneseriar, biletvev og installasjonar. På Hå gamle prestegard presenterer ho ein serie biletvevar med tittelen You Might As Well Face It: You're Addicted to Love. Dette er hennar første separatutstilling.
I liked this one particularily!

anyone for breakfast?

- on the terrace? in the sun? by the fjord? no wind?


Spending the entire day out working with my face towards the sun I should have considered sunstick for other use than sugarlike cooling down my mouth...; Fresh lobster colour on my face this afternoon. April sun. Sun screen coming up tomorrow!

Friday, April 18


Gorgeous day for working outdoors... - and I was sponatenously embraced by numerous kids I don't particularily know as I brought 80 icecreams fetching my daughter at the SFO (after school centre).

They have previewed warmer weather tomorrow - and even better Sunday - so we start the weekend with kids running everywhere (for the moment 4 other than mine) - some spending the night - some only passing by; but I'm serving hot dogs & more ice cream at the terrace in a bit. - and as I will be sole adult in the house this evening, there is a slight possibility Bakhtin will be my companion into the night - once again...

home office

here, there, everywhere

Thursday, April 17


soon to continue reading out in the sun as the noisy machine operating people end their working day...

shadows & sun

Wednesday, April 16