Most recent comments
Moldejazz 2018
Camilla, 1 year, 10 months
Romjulen 2018
Camilla, 2 years, 5 months
Liveblogg nyttårsaften 2017
Tor, 3 years, 5 months
Jogging og blogging
Are, 4 years, 5 months
Liveblogg nyttårsaften 2016
Are, 4 years, 5 months
Reading in dark times
Are, 4 years, 6 months
Kort hår
Tor, 5 months, 1 week
Ravelry
Camilla, 6 days, 8 hours
Melody Gardot
Camilla, 1 year, 11 months
Den årlige påske-kommentaren
Tor, 2 years, 2 months
50 book challenge
Camilla, 5 months, 1 week
Ten years ago
#energidebatten
Tor
Controls
Register

A decade in books

A decade ago (good grief) I wrote an overview of my reading since 2000, and as we now write 2021 I take it it is time to repeat the exercise. Fair warning: this may primarily be of interest to me, but I like keeping record. This is a decade in which I have completed my PhD and worked in higher education here and there, and also one in which I have made an effort to include more diversity in my reading list.

Apart from the PhD stuff, my reading in 2011 was heavily shaped by a reading challenge in which I had to read six genres and according to a variety of other criteria. I discovered some books it might otherwise have taken me longer to find, like the utterly amazing Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. I also started my Kazuo Ishiguro binge this year, as well as a Le Carré one, and reread all the Dickens books I had not read since I was a kid (and in retrospect, I am fairly sure those had changed) because I came to Trondheim and was given charge of a Dickens course. I also discovered Angela Carter, David Mitchell, and Neal Stephenson, and Marvel through Gaiman's Marvel 1602. And I continued to pick up non-fiction on the outskirts (or outside my field) because there is something deeply relaxing about that, and Naphy's Born to be Gay stuck with me.

With the arrival of 2012, I was teaching and in the ...
Read more Comments (0)

2020 Book Variations

Weird year. I spent most of trying to write a book, trying (failing) not to read the news, and winding down with books that were sufficiently familiar to help me forget about work at the end of the day.

The Sea Cloak & Other Stories -- Nayrouz Qarmout
Reading this collection of short stories drawn from Palestinian experience, while sitting in a lovely little café in Hampstead in January was discordant, but the stories were very good. The title story reminded me a little of Kate Chopin's 'The Awakening', with a twist, which may have been intentional. The tone and rhythm of the rriting, and the occasional jarring intrusion of war was very effective. I also liked the tension she sets up between the violence of war and the violence of gender and social expectation. The way hopelessness builds as completely normal plans and desires are frustrated, fruitless, leading to radicalisation or despair.

Single & Single -- John Le Carré
David Cornwell died this December, which means Le Carré did, too. This was the latest of his that I read (I had waited a while, as my mother once told me I was too young and I tend to assume that applies in perpetuity). I love his tortured spies who have hidden away in out-of-the-way lives/careers, the lawyer who knows his business to the fingertips, and the father/son dynamic. It reminds me a little of Perfect Spy in that respect. Also, I am a sucker for any book that ...
Read more Comments (0)

Detectives

When we were eight or so, my friends and I had a detective club. One of the mysteries we tried to solve was the murder of Olof Palme. Like many others, we were unsuccessful. Possibly because our methods (after reading all we could find on the subject) were hanging around the local museum and the window outside the teachers’ lounge, looking for suspicious activity.

We used very similar methods for determining the identity of Nessie, the existence of aliens, and the theft or destruction of something at the local museum. Come to think of it, we had some fairly plausible theories about one of the teachers and a stationery racket which I am not sure were altogether wrong.

I am fairly sure my life-long obsession with stationery comes from the fact that writing implements and writing books were all hidden away in the basement, where we were not allowed, inside a cupboard we had no access to.

How do I know there was a cupboard in the basement and that the cupboard contained stationery, you ask? Well...

Sometimes the door was left ajar. And we WERE detectives.
Comments (0)

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

This should have been posted on the 8th, but I forgot to crosspost from Circumlocuted. Sorry.


The six serial parts that make up The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Mrs Tope's care has spread a very neat, clean breakfast ready for her lodger. Before sitting down to it, he opens his corner-cupboard door; takes his bit of chalk from its shelf; adds one thick line to the score, extending from the top of the cupboard door to the bottom; and then falls to with an appetite.
When Charles Dickens finished the penultimate chapter of the sixth instalment of Edwin Drood, on this day 150 years ago, those were the final words he would ever write.1 Later that evening he had a stroke, and he died the following day without regaining consciousness. While Dickens the man got up from his desk, dined, complained of a toothache and asked for the window to be closed before dying, Dickens as author dies with the final words of Edwin Drood.2 His final novel is indissolubly linked with its author's death, not least because the premature end to the life is the cause of the premature end to the text. Sometimes, there is speculation that it was the other way around: that the novel killed its author. I have written about the narrative significance of Dickens' death elsewhere.

The propinquity of the last words of the last work and the death lent them some of the sanctity of the grave. Fans and ...
Read more Comments (0)

(Still waiting for) pockets

If you google "pockets" (or at least, if I google "pockets"), the top thingy leads you to a menswear designer. Which I think is rather rubbing it in.

Women's trousers famously have completely ludicrous attachments which do not deserve the name, but if like me you happen to have given trousers up as a bad job (because, really, how much time is one expected to spend trying the damned things on?), and decided the future is skirt-shaped, things are even worse.

Skirts and dresses don't just have useless pockets -- quite often there are no pockets at all! Which means, if I leave my office to buy lunch and do not want to lug a handbag or a large wallet around -- or carry a lone card which you know I would leave at the first available flat surface -- my option is basically stuffing the thing up my sleeve. Which is inelegant, to say the least. And should I also want to bring my phone, well...

Hence the sewing machine.

That is a lie. I got the sewing machine because I am short and at 15 I saw the future before me. But it has proved useful. Also because of the pockets.

Sources are unclear on whether the reason for the lack of pockets is a) that they ruin the silhouette (what?), b) that they are too expensive (really?), c) that they are trying to force us into buying handbags (I will murder you in your sleep), or d) that ...
Read more Comments (0)

2019 in books -- a selection

I have decided to repeat last year's stocktaking/recommendations exercise. It seems like a good way to ensure I manage at least one blog post each year. Following last year's rather white, male year, I once again resolved to read more women of colour, and did. Paying attention to structural inequality helps you do something about it. Here are some of the ones that stuck with me the most this past year. I could happily have recommended all I read last year, so I have made some hard choices.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy -- Cathy O'Neill
There is a tendency among people in power (and middle managers the world over) to think that if a computer spits out a number it comes express from divine truth. There are few things that scares me more. This book gives a good account of how the abuse of algorithms by people who believe they are objective leads to spiralling inequality and injustice. It should be mandatory reading despite her tendency to reach for baseball to help her explain things. Some of it is particular to the American context (which seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to spiralling into dystopian nightmares), but that does not make it less relevant. It is not a technophobe's book, though: there is a faint glimmering hope that if people could get their act together, the same algorithms could be a force for good ...
Read more Comments (0)

Moldejazz 2018

Under årets jazzfestival begynte jeg å legge merke til at jeg kjenner igjen en del navn på jazzmusikere. Nå er jeg ikke spesielt flink til å oppsøke ny jazz det meste av tiden, men de siste årene har jeg vært ganske ivrig til å gå på konserter på Moldejazz, og det har altså begynt å betale seg i form av en følelse av begynnende oversikt. Jeg ergret meg derfor over at jeg ikke tok meg tid til å blogge om jazzfestivalen i fjor (eller noe særlig annet i fjor, for den saks skyld), så her følger et forsøk på å rekonstruere Moldejazz 2018 fra hukommelsen (godt hjulpet av mobilbildebiblioteket mitt).

På mandagen gikk vi (som vanlig) på jazzåpningen i Aleksandraparken. Jeg husker ikke noe av ordførerens tale, men jeg antar han sa noe om næringslivet, og om at det er bra at vi en gang i året slipper til musikk som kan provosere litt. Jeg husker imidlertid talen til artist-in-residence Maria Schneider, som snakket godt og engasjert om problemene med finansiering av musikkbransjen. Hun snakket for eksempel om hvordan det kun er noen veldig få, meget populære artister som får godt betalt av Spotify. De aller, aller fleste får bare utbetalt bittesmå tøysebeløp. Jeg mener å huske at hun nevnte et eksempel på at noen hadde fått en sjekk på under 1 dollar.

Dette er egentlig et veldig interessant tema. Om jeg har forstått det riktig, så betaler Spotify et fast beløp per avspilling til rettighetsholderne. I følge denne siden ...
Read more Comments (1)

Distilled highlights of 2018 in books

While I enjoy the cleaning out and resetting aspect of the new year ritual, I have never really been one for stocktaking at the end of the year. The exception is books. One of my favourite parts of January 1st is going back over the books I have read in the preceding year and having a look at which ones have really stayed with me. I thought I would do this in public this year, so that this could double as a recommendations list for those so inclined.

Gnomon -- Nick Harkaway
A complex, but quite wonderful book set in part in a near(ish) future dystopia, but with narrative strands from ancient Carthage, via contemporary Greece and London, to a posthuman far future. Like all Harkaway's books any attempt to place it in a genre box will meet with problems -- think of it as scifi meets police procedural told by the lovechild of Scheherazade and Borges. It continues the concern with seductive order and control vs the possibility of heterogeneity which I have been tracing in his previous books (I really must finish that article). I like how this book balances political urgency without becoming didactic.

Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures -- Elly Blue (ed.)
This is exactly what it sounds like -- a collection of feminist science fiction short stories in which bikes play prominent parts. The fourth of its kind, apparently, so there is more where this came from. One or two were a bit ...
Read more Comments (0)

Romjulen 2018

Det er lenge siden sist jeg har blogget en oppsummering av juleferien, eller noe som helst annet, for den saks skyld, så tenkte å sparke i gang det nye året med noen refleksjoner over den siste uken i det forrige. Vi som jobber i FoU-bransjen er gjerne velsignet med ganske lang juleferie, eller i allefall muligheten til å ta lang juleferie. I år startet imidlertid ferien litt senere enn vanlig for min del, da jeg var på jobb til og med 21. desember. Planen var å kjøre til Molde den 22., ganske tidlig på dag. Det er best å kjøre mens det er lyst, tenkte vi, som betyr å komme frem rundt tre, som igjen betyr å kjøre klokken 11. Og når jeg stod opp i åttetiden den 22. trodde jeg, helt ærlig, at vi skulle greie å komme oss avgårde klokken 11. Etter å ha ryddet, pakket, laget to typer sild til jul, tatt en tur ut for å pante flasker og levere glassresirkulering1, og ikke minst stoppet innom Jacobsen & Svart for å bunkre opp på Berry Christmas, var vi endelig på vei ut av byen rundt halv to, og dermed fremme i Molde rundt halv seks.

Utsikten hjemmefra på lille julaften


Øverlandsvannet med juletreet på Varden i bakgrunnen


Nykjørte løyper og fine forhold

Grunnet værmeldingen, som var nesten parodisk i sin elendighet, valgte jeg å ikke ta med ski nedover. Da jeg sjekket yr før vi dro var det meldt kaldt og snø på 22. og ...
Read more Comments (1)
Camilla likes this

Shaw's Manslaughter Plan

Lately, I have been spending my days alternately at the British Library and the Dickens Museum, and my evenings at the British Newspaper Archive, looking up this and that. Suffice to say, I have read my share of old newspapers, magazines, journals, reviews, gazettes, couriers, and heralds.

On Friday I found something interesting: a newspaper notice that seemed to have travelled back in time. Which made me rather excited.

But first some background.

As you may know, Charles Dickens left The Mystery of Edwin Drood unfinished when he died in 1870, and I wrote my PhD on the many people who have tried to figure out where it would have ended had he lived (and those who tried to complete it for him -- with or without posthumous help).

Now, by 1914, this had developed into quite a phenomenon, and the last decade had involved not only some of the Britain's finest magazines and newspapers, but some of its most famous names and most active writers in the attempt to figure out once and for all the mysteries of Dickens' novel (and make some money for charity in the process).

At the heart of the matter there is, as the title suggests, the mystery of Edwin Drood -- namely, what has happened to him. Has he, as the text would seem to suggest, been murdered by his uncle, John Jasper? Or has he, in preparation for a fantastic reveal, survived the attempt? And this is not the only question to be ...
Read more Comments (0)
Flashforum
Speak you're branes
Tor 15.05.21 12:28

Ikke allverden. Retter eksamen. Ser frem til sommeren.
Eivind 28.03.21 20:38

Skjer?
Tor 15.11.20 18:02

Test
Tor 02.01.20 21:29

Godt nyttår!
Are 15.03.19 14:18

Godt nyttår! ;)
Tor 01.01.19 10:46

Godt nyttår!
Tor 30.12.17 20:43

Og lynforumet funker igjen! For første gang på et par år.
Tor 30.12.17 20:43

Vi er på lufta igjen, etter et par ukers nedetid (som kanskje ingen la merke til?). Oppdatering følger.
Tor 30.12.17 19:58

Testpost
Kjelll 15.01.16 21:53

Og ja, typisk PisseGuri!
Kjelll 15.01.16 21:51

Sjeldent vært så enig med D Tennant: https://youtu.be/yarNp2Z5TSE?t=1m10s
Are 15.01.16 12:54

Måtte bare forsikre meg om at dere ikke går glipp av den. :)
Tor 03.12.15 19:55

Hmmnja, ok.
Jørgen 03.12.15 12:25

Den var ikkje ein del av rommet. Av same grunn som det ikkje var berre éin hovudskalle i slottet (med unnatak av andre gongen han gjekk gjennom sirkelen).
Tor 03.12.15 08:11

Den var ganske kul. Men hvorfor gikk ikke diamantveggen tilbake til opprinnelig tilstand når han kom inn i rommet igjen?
Jørgen 02.12.15 10:36

Heaven Sent. Steike. Beste eg har sett av Doctor Who nokon sinne! (Sånn. Eg måtte berre få det ut. Takk.)
Tor 15.11.15 19:31

Planen er 1. juledag, på Øverlandsvannet, men det er litt væravhengig. Det må nesten være skikkelig is, eller ingen is. Retiro kan også være et alternativ.
Are 13.11.15 11:10

Når skal julebadet finne sted?
Tor 02.11.15 11:04

Jeg vil oppfordre alle til å ta del i pollen som er oppe for tiden. Og naturligvis vil jeg oppfordre alle til å bli med på julebadet.
Camilla 07.10.15 23:20

Hurra!
Are 05.10.15 21:31

Jørgen 25.09.15 16:45

Haha! Det har eg ikkje tenkt over før. Men no skal eg byrje å ta det i bruk til dagleg.
Tor 15.09.15 07:12

Og RG-beatdown, ikke minst.
Tor 15.09.15 07:07

Har ikke tenkt over før at mange navn på Magic-deck også egner seg som navn på politiske konstellasjoner i norske kommuner. UG-madness, for eksempel.
Ragnhild 06.09.15 21:51

Grattis, Camilla!
Are 06.09.15 10:34

Gratulerer med dagen, Camilla!
Tor 03.08.15 18:55

I andre nyheter: Det viser seg at posting til lynforumet ikke har fungert etter en django-oppdatering i mai eller juni. På lufta igjen nå (åpenbart).
Tor 03.08.15 18:55

På grunn av ubetenksom omgang med databasen mistet vi ca ti minutter i dag. Beklager til alle som postet mellom ca 18.10 og 18.20.
Tor 20.05.15 22:40

Thanks. It was a nice day, almost no rain, champagne for breakfast, etc. Good stuff.
Tim 17.05.15 16:37

Happy 17 May, Norwegians!
Tor 20.02.15 18:59

Bra xkcd i dag. Jeg har sagt omtrent nøyaktig dette i en forelesning.
Tor 03.01.15 23:10

Legg merke til at vi nå har bokser som viser tilfeldige artikler også fra to og ti år tilbake.
Tor 31.12.14 16:31

Uansett, Tangen og jeg tok nyttårsbadet rundt kvart på tre. Kan melde om friske temperaturer i vannet.
Tor 31.12.14 16:31

Mulig det er noe der.
Camilla 31.12.14 12:25

Kanskje fordi alkohol og isbading ikke går så bra sammen?
Tor 30.12.14 21:31

Skjønt, hvorfor 12.00? Midnatt er jo mye kulere.
Tor 30.12.14 21:30

Det eksisterer tilsynelatende en tradisjon for nyttårsbading i Molde. Møt opp, på Retiro klokken 12.00 i morgen.
Tor 22.12.14 00:04

(Vintersolverv er (var) i år klokken 00:03 den 22 desember.)
Tor 22.12.14 00:02

God Vintersolverv!
Ragnhild 20.11.14 14:42

Apple-idiotiet mitt fortsetter: Ved lette småskader på iPhone vraker de altså telefonen og sender deg en ny. Nå har jeg mistet nydelige bilder fra Chile og Spania.
Ragnhild 05.11.14 17:21

Hehe. "Bør Mac fra 2008 oppgraderes". Nå skal eplehuset bestille minnekort (?) slik at de kan oppgradere maskinen min (10.5.8)til Yosemite. Det går visst an. Alt man lærer!
Ragnhild 30.10.14 09:09

@Camilla: Gratulerer med det!
Camilla 29.10.14 15:55

@Ragnhild: Jeg jobber nå på Luftkrigsskolen. Mer engelsk språk og krigshistorie enn tung litteraturteori, men interessant (og med forskningstid).
Ragnhild 29.10.14 08:59

Lynforumpostene mine har hatt en tendens til å multiplisere seg selv. Bør mac fra 2008 oppgraderes? Er det dyrt?
Tor 28.10.14 23:03

Calcuttagutta er jo hovedsaklig utviklet på en Mac fra 2008, så det burde funke greit.
Tor 28.10.14 23:02

Hva er det som ikke funker med lynforumet?
Ragnhild 22.10.14 16:02

Lynforum+min mac fra 2008=dårlig match.
Ragnhild 22.10.14 16:01

Camilla: Har du funnet deg en spennende jobb nå? Er nysgjerrig.
Ragnhild 22.10.14 16:01

Camilla: Har du funnet deg en spennende jobb nå? Er nysgjerrig.
Are 15.10.14 21:07

Fusjon! (AviationWeek)
Camilla 28.09.14 22:07

For de med interesse for jazz og litteraturteori: Derrida og Coleman.
Camilla 14.09.14 19:53

Camilla 14.09.14 19:53

Jeg har ikke lest Marta Breen, dessverre; men det jeg har sett av henne virket fornuftig.
Ragnhild 12.09.14 10:13

Camilla: Leser at du stadig er feminist, og lurer på om du har en kommentar til Marta Breens nye bok? Anbefales for øvrig til alle som ikke har lest den!
Tor 07.09.14 22:03

Jeg ville lagt til fortran, som er et lysssvert. An elegant weapon, for a more civilised time.
Camilla 16.07.14 23:12

Jeg skal kuratere We The Humanities neste uke. (@wethehumanities)
Tor 23.04.14 07:59

Tor 15.04.14 01:00

Tor 08.04.14 20:44

Hmm, to måneder uten aktivitet i lynforumet, og over to uker mellom artikler. Jeg tror jeg må skjerpe meg litt.
Tor 01.02.14 12:47

Kul, men det ser ut som de har løftet den fra wikipedia, fjernet kildehenvisningene og lagt til rotete grafikk
Tor 14.01.14 21:33

Forøvrig, når det er snakk om å varme opp en såpass komplisert substans som kaffe, og når man diskuterer effekter på smak og slikt, er det nok mer kjemi enn fysikk.
Tor 13.01.14 23:06

Godt spørsmål. Jeg skal tenke på det. Jag faktisk tydd til mikrobølgeovn fra tid til annen jeg også, og da stort sett flat pedal i et minutt eller så.
Are 13.01.14 21:43

O Tor. Du som kan fysikk. Hva er den mest skånsomme måten å varme opp igjen kald kaffe på? Er mikrobølgeovn på svak styrke bedre enn kort tid på full guffe? #potensiellArtikkel
Ulf 13.01.14 12:17

Halve prinsesseriket og en trekvarts Jarlsberg til den som lærer meg å stoppe scrollingen når artikkelen er ferdiglest. Grøss og gru for et kommentarfelt.