July 31, 2011
In memory of the recent tragedy, an insubstantial poem:
Norway remember Ibsen,
Not the wayward christian
Who gunned your nation’s young:
“To bleed, in our great common cause, for others”
And not to close your doors, and to keep the world
In your embraces.
Remember your roses that grow
Long since when we today have lain
In our common earth. We share
This one and common earth.
May 13, 2009
My finals are finally done, took the last of them last night. Now I can turn my full attention to my boy Henrik Ibsen and crank out some research on his poetry. Actually, most of the leg work is already worked out, my research done… I just need to organize it into a coherent paper. Maybe tied together by something my professor has been referring to as a “thesis,” whatever that is. Seriously, I don’t understand these darned newfangled literary terms. I just like to look at pretty pictures. Speaking of pretty pictures! My brother recently put together a photo-portfolio for a photog. workshop off in SomewhereIDidn’tGetTheDetailsOf, USA. With his approval, I’ll post a link here on my blog so that all of yous guys & gals can take a look. They are pretty stellar.
Patrick Traylor: A Photo-Portfolio
In celebration, I’m posting up some more long-exposure fun (this time completely raw & unedited):
Something to look into for those of you interested (and I know I have linguist friends, so don’t pretend you aren’t): translation theory. It’s played a pretty interesting part in the way I’ve been looking at my research & Ibsen’s poetry (& prose for that matter) in translation.
Okay, time to get writing.
May 4, 2009
When asked to sum up what I had learned over the course of a semester in an Ibsen class, I pondered, then replied:
“Oh Ibsen, what to say what to say… after a semester of reading his works I think it is clear to see why Ibsen & his works remain so important to readers/audiences today. Though criticism of his works has sometimes expressed controversy/confusion (is he a realist or a symbolist? feminist or humanist? poet or dramatist?), almost all agree that he brought innovation to theater. Ibsen did not believe in art for art’s sake. He believed in action, his dramas almost always making social commentary and critique (with exception of some of his later works which focused on his earlier, loftier poetic themes). My favorite example of this is Enemy of the People, Stockmann almost a caricature of Ibsen himself: tellin’ it like it is. In the play, Stockmann finds a flaw in the system (namely, the water treatment & contamination), and he brings it to the forefront of social discussion where no one else dares. The character is a media revolutionary, publishing the facts for even those who don’t want to hear. Ibsen’s plays treat society with similar irreverence, though Ibsen is more characteristic of asking questions than of answering them – his plays often posing open-ended social commentary. That, I think, is the enduring draw of Ibsen’s works. He asks questions and critics get a kick out of answering.”
Gahhh. I really need to start writing more that ISN’T about Ibsen (or David Lynch). Clearly I’m one of those people… you know, who gets a kick out of Ibsen. A poindexter, if you will. If you won’t, well, that’s fine, too.
May 2, 2009
In the midst of my research on Ibsen’s poetics, I ran across a wonderful passage in one of William Archer’s essays. I laughed quite out loud and got a host of odd looks in the café where I sit. I would explain my laughter to the folks drinking coffee/tea/(eating) bagels alongside me in the café if I were not afraid that I would, in turn, bore them in explanation.
“I am far from denying that there are touches of mannerism in Ibsen which sometimes provoke an unintended smile. To people in whose eyes these surface oddities bulk so large that they cannot see the master-poet behind them, I can only apologize for having bored them with this discussion. The operation for the removal of their mental cataract is far beyond my surgery.”
If you do not see any humor in this, it’s best not to ask. I seem to share the dead man’s opinion.
April 7, 2009
For those of you in attendance at the 2009 Undergraduate Research Symposium, I want to first thank you for taking an interest in my research. As you may have gathered from my presentation, my research is still ongoing, and will be leading to a research paper as part of my James Scholar honors project this year. The next step is to translate selections of Ibsen’s original poems for myself. Using the original texts and direct and poetric translations, I will be exploring how Ibsen’s poetry offers deeper analysis for his later dramatic works and how it helped to shape a developing Norwegian idenitity. His poetry voices passion, celebrates history, and holds purpose. With expanded analysis, this purpose can be seen outside of just the Norwegian-speaking public. As my research continues, I hope to expand this blog to encompass not only my research and analysis, but my translations as well. Please feel free to leave comments and to contact me if you have any questions.