nirinia: (Hades)
Idiot that I am, I read Heart of Darkness first. I thought we were discussing that on Friday, but we're not, we're talking about Beloved (Morrison). Three hundred pages to get through tomorrow, then.

Studying literature at a university that haunts the bottoms of ranking lists does not make for good employment prospects. I have no more than two semesters left to finish my BA, which means I must make a decision. As I see it, I have three options: finish my BA, then run off to Oxford to start over and get a proper education; study medicine and specialise in surgery; study law. Do either of the three, then go into the Diplomatic Corpse. Or I can put it all off another year by applying for the Military's intensive Russian course – Russian and espionage, I'm sure I'd enjoy interrogating people in Russian. And Russian is rather fun.

The elimination method, eliminating the ones that mean I will have to go improve my grades, leaves literature at Oxford and law. I would love to go all out and run off to Oxford, but then what will I do when I'm done? Sensibly, law is a great option. Anette is equally depressed about her situation, so we drink coffee and sigh. Or make Hilde panic about her bachelor's thesis, due in two semesters. Poor thing, I don't think she ought to be around me.

Joining Mother for a dress rehearsal of Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage ("Blodig Alvor", in Norwegian) at Nationaltheatret tomorrow. Hoping it will have me in stitches by the first act. I need some fun to take my mind off all the reading, and the general despondency of attending a crappy university.
nirinia: (Hades)
Idiot that I am, I read Heart of Darkness first. I thought we were discussing that on Friday, but we're not, we're talking about Beloved (Morrison). Three hundred pages to get through tomorrow, then.

Studying literature at a university that haunts the bottoms of ranking lists does not make for good employment prospects. I have no more than two semesters left to finish my BA, which means I must make a decision. As I see it, I have three options: finish my BA, then run off to Oxford to start over and get a proper education; study medicine and specialise in surgery; study law. Do either of the three, then go into the Diplomatic Corpse. Or I can put it all off another year by applying for the Military's intensive Russian course – Russian and espionage, I'm sure I'd enjoy interrogating people in Russian. And Russian is rather fun.

The elimination method, eliminating the ones that mean I will have to go improve my grades, leaves literature at Oxford and law. I would love to go all out and run off to Oxford, but then what will I do when I'm done? Sensibly, law is a great option. Anette is equally depressed about her situation, so we drink coffee and sigh. Or make Hilde panic about her bachelor's thesis, due in two semesters. Poor thing, I don't think she ought to be around me.

Joining Mother for a dress rehearsal of Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage ("Blodig Alvor", in Norwegian) at Nationaltheatret tomorrow. Hoping it will have me in stitches by the first act. I need some fun to take my mind off all the reading, and the general despondency of attending a crappy university.
nirinia: (Default)
The Exphil Beauvoir Deathmarch is on. 2800-3500 words, a disconcertingly small stack of reference books, pens, post-it flags and my MacBook. And an ice-coffee or two.

Have you ever scourged Amazon's listmania? When I need inspiration I type in the first word I can think of – the name of a writer I enjoy, a phrase, a title –, and look at lists. Some are very insightful, and most all a great place to find new books. "Make tea, sit back and let that essay wait. A rather dark novel, but not uncomfortably so.". Finding a particularly insightful reader is always a treat. Yes, I know I swore off Amazon, but I said nothing about the lists. I just won't buy anything.

Leafing through my Nabokov earlier, I remembered why I want to learn Russian: I want to read their literature, and I do not want it in translation. Apropos, we saw The Brothers Karamazov at Nationaltheatret. The scenography by Simon Pastukh was awe-inspiring: layers of grimy plastic, put to light so that the actors at times stood out as ghosts in the background of a scene; a withered tree. It was dark, disgusting and very fitting. And the costumes! The actors were overall decent, the women did a surprisingly horrid job of it (surprise! I think the problem is that they are scared of taking it too far: when you're drunk and dancing around, do it properly. Really dance, jump, go mad. And, for the love of everything holy, dare to be disgusting.)

I loved the characters, some of the arguments and parties might as well have been transplanted from our family gatherings.

Now I'm going to find some dark classical music I can write to. Let the Deathmarch commence.
nirinia: (Default)
The Exphil Beauvoir Deathmarch is on. 2800-3500 words, a disconcertingly small stack of reference books, pens, post-it flags and my MacBook. And an ice-coffee or two.

Have you ever scourged Amazon's listmania? When I need inspiration I type in the first word I can think of – the name of a writer I enjoy, a phrase, a title –, and look at lists. Some are very insightful, and most all a great place to find new books. "Make tea, sit back and let that essay wait. A rather dark novel, but not uncomfortably so.". Finding a particularly insightful reader is always a treat. Yes, I know I swore off Amazon, but I said nothing about the lists. I just won't buy anything.

Leafing through my Nabokov earlier, I remembered why I want to learn Russian: I want to read their literature, and I do not want it in translation. Apropos, we saw The Brothers Karamazov at Nationaltheatret. The scenography by Simon Pastukh was awe-inspiring: layers of grimy plastic, put to light so that the actors at times stood out as ghosts in the background of a scene; a withered tree. It was dark, disgusting and very fitting. And the costumes! The actors were overall decent, the women did a surprisingly horrid job of it (surprise! I think the problem is that they are scared of taking it too far: when you're drunk and dancing around, do it properly. Really dance, jump, go mad. And, for the love of everything holy, dare to be disgusting.)

I loved the characters, some of the arguments and parties might as well have been transplanted from our family gatherings.

Now I'm going to find some dark classical music I can write to. Let the Deathmarch commence.
nirinia: (Default)
I'm sick. That entails no dancing, no friends, no heels, no drunk. I get to spend time with my parents friends. Arguably, this lot is not so bad, and I have an excuse to wear Galliano. I use the expression clusterfuck entirely tongue-in-cheek, as a tribute to Burn After Reading. Theatre de l'absurde take note, this is how it's done! NRK went and filmed the god-forsaken staging of Waiting for Godot I saw at Nationaltheatret, they filmed it. And are sending it the day we leave for London. Filmed it. I'm appalled. Though I might try to record and re-view it. For the sake of masochism, pause and fast-forward. With luck I might not fall asleep. Perhaps also have a revelation?
nirinia: (Default)
I'm sick. That entails no dancing, no friends, no heels, no drunk. I get to spend time with my parents friends. Arguably, this lot is not so bad, and I have an excuse to wear Galliano. I use the expression clusterfuck entirely tongue-in-cheek, as a tribute to Burn After Reading. Theatre de l'absurde take note, this is how it's done! NRK went and filmed the god-forsaken staging of Waiting for Godot I saw at Nationaltheatret, they filmed it. And are sending it the day we leave for London. Filmed it. I'm appalled. Though I might try to record and re-view it. For the sake of masochism, pause and fast-forward. With luck I might not fall asleep. Perhaps also have a revelation?
nirinia: (Default)
I want to go to London on a Wedensday sometime in March/April, only to see Madame de Sade. I would arrive early in the morning, check in, have lunch and go see the play (a matinee). I'd have the rest of the evening, and the next day to shop and prance around in London. The plane home leaves at 8 pm. I could do it for 3500 NOK, or so. It's utter insanity, and I'd have to find someone as insane as I to drag along. But I do so want to. But I'm going there the first few days of January.
nirinia: (Default)
I want to go to London on a Wedensday sometime in March/April, only to see Madame de Sade. I would arrive early in the morning, check in, have lunch and go see the play (a matinee). I'd have the rest of the evening, and the next day to shop and prance around in London. The plane home leaves at 8 pm. I could do it for 3500 NOK, or so. It's utter insanity, and I'd have to find someone as insane as I to drag along. But I do so want to. But I'm going there the first few days of January.
nirinia: (Default)
I must see this Madame de Sade. Judy Dench, as the wife of de Sade. And I'm not there to see it. Fuck!

Wyndham's, I think we saw The History Boys there.
nirinia: (Default)
I must see this Madame de Sade. Judy Dench, as the wife of de Sade. And I'm not there to see it. Fuck!

Wyndham's, I think we saw The History Boys there.
nirinia: (Default)
Wikipedia on the Theatre of Cruelty. So, instead of revising, I haunt teh internets, and find fun theatre theories. I also discovered Grusomhetens Teater in Oslo, which I must at some point visit. Oslo is certainly looking up Ü And I will have to delve deeper when I am done with the blasted exams. I want modernism!
nirinia: (Default)
Wikipedia on the Theatre of Cruelty. So, instead of revising, I haunt teh internets, and find fun theatre theories. I also discovered Grusomhetens Teater in Oslo, which I must at some point visit. Oslo is certainly looking up Ü And I will have to delve deeper when I am done with the blasted exams. I want modernism!
nirinia: (Default)
London was stunning, again. Despite a bout of gastric flu ("omgangssyke", in Norwegian), it was oh-so worth the trip in Aurora's smoked car and perpetually late Ryanair. And despite my disregard of Shakespeare, the Globe was fantastic. Our guide was marvellously British, with a penchance for "indeed", noted by most of my class-mates. I did not bat an eye, and had no idea 'til Erik made me aware as I said it myself. It is a bloody brilliant word, get over it!

And, haha, we got drunk with our teachers. The plan was to go pub-crawling, but after having "vorsed" in our rooms - with several of us complaining of light-headedness (we later decided to blame lack of sleep and nutrition) - and drinking a rather lot, the crawling never did happen other than to our hotel, several hours later, all of us inappropriately drunk. Someone looked a bit baffled when they heard we were a sixth-form college from Norway on a study-trip, so we were forced to add that it did involve a bit of alcohol. Drinking with teachers is weird, very weird. Doubly so when you've just seen a play partly about teacher-student relationships.

I am having a problem with justiying my disregard of Shakespeare, by the way. I belive that a writer's mastery of his craft does not go hand in hand with social and literary impact. Further, all literature is written for an audience. Be they ideal, imagined or average. And plays for both audience and stage. Shakespeare's audiences knew Plutarch, and his plays were deviced for the Renaissance stage. The average modern audience does not know Plutarch and the stage is not that of the Renaissance, and that must be taken into account when considering Shakespeare. Thus we cannot judge him purely by his writing, for most of us do not understand his writing. And we do not see it in its original form. There is no doubt that his impact is considerable, and that his writing was great then, but I do not think he is for all time. The language has changed too much, it is too inaccessible. Though I can accept the fact that to know English culture and literature, we most acquaint ourselves with Shakespeare.

We saw The History Boys at Wyndham's on Monday. I am in love! The allusions, the critique, tristesse, humour, irony and heart-breaking ending. I was under the impression that we were seeing something much along the lines of Dead Poets Society, and while I can see the parallels, it is vastly different. This is a much more demanding story, almost too high-brow for its own good. Particularly the satire and open critique of grading and modern teaching was a delight (forgive me, it was so wonderful I lapse into italics). I got some - or most, if I am optimistic – of the allusions, yet felt completely inadequate. If you have no knowledge of English university and cities, and have not read a plethora of more or less obscure literature, you are lost. With my bad school French I got most of the part spoken entirely in French. And I feel so sorry for most of the class, I know they did not get not only the French, but the play. The two to my left most certainly did not understand a thing, they laughed when Katrine and I did, with a few seconds of added delay. Poor things. It was not, of course, intended for half-witted Norwegians with lacking knowledge, a smattering to no French, and no culture for homosexuality (ie, prep-schools and oxbridge), but still. It was scarily high-brow, and not at all what I was expecting. Did the audience know what to expect, I wonder?

I want to run around hitting people in the head with exercise books, like Hector. " The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours." Also Hector's, though I am not so sure I agree with him. The most wonderful part of reading is new ideas, not the recognition.

The Photographic Portrait Prize 2007 exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery was fantastic. I only wish they had the catalogue, so I could look more closely at some of the shots.

And oh, this country fails at everything.
nirinia: (Default)
London was stunning, again. Despite a bout of gastric flu ("omgangssyke", in Norwegian), it was oh-so worth the trip in Aurora's smoked car and perpetually late Ryanair. And despite my disregard of Shakespeare, the Globe was fantastic. Our guide was marvellously British, with a penchance for "indeed", noted by most of my class-mates. I did not bat an eye, and had no idea 'til Erik made me aware as I said it myself. It is a bloody brilliant word, get over it!

And, haha, we got drunk with our teachers. The plan was to go pub-crawling, but after having "vorsed" in our rooms - with several of us complaining of light-headedness (we later decided to blame lack of sleep and nutrition) - and drinking a rather lot, the crawling never did happen other than to our hotel, several hours later, all of us inappropriately drunk. Someone looked a bit baffled when they heard we were a sixth-form college from Norway on a study-trip, so we were forced to add that it did involve a bit of alcohol. Drinking with teachers is weird, very weird. Doubly so when you've just seen a play partly about teacher-student relationships.

I am having a problem with justiying my disregard of Shakespeare, by the way. I belive that a writer's mastery of his craft does not go hand in hand with social and literary impact. Further, all literature is written for an audience. Be they ideal, imagined or average. And plays for both audience and stage. Shakespeare's audiences knew Plutarch, and his plays were deviced for the Renaissance stage. The average modern audience does not know Plutarch and the stage is not that of the Renaissance, and that must be taken into account when considering Shakespeare. Thus we cannot judge him purely by his writing, for most of us do not understand his writing. And we do not see it in its original form. There is no doubt that his impact is considerable, and that his writing was great then, but I do not think he is for all time. The language has changed too much, it is too inaccessible. Though I can accept the fact that to know English culture and literature, we most acquaint ourselves with Shakespeare.

We saw The History Boys at Wyndham's on Monday. I am in love! The allusions, the critique, tristesse, humour, irony and heart-breaking ending. I was under the impression that we were seeing something much along the lines of Dead Poets Society, and while I can see the parallels, it is vastly different. This is a much more demanding story, almost too high-brow for its own good. Particularly the satire and open critique of grading and modern teaching was a delight (forgive me, it was so wonderful I lapse into italics). I got some - or most, if I am optimistic – of the allusions, yet felt completely inadequate. If you have no knowledge of English university and cities, and have not read a plethora of more or less obscure literature, you are lost. With my bad school French I got most of the part spoken entirely in French. And I feel so sorry for most of the class, I know they did not get not only the French, but the play. The two to my left most certainly did not understand a thing, they laughed when Katrine and I did, with a few seconds of added delay. Poor things. It was not, of course, intended for half-witted Norwegians with lacking knowledge, a smattering to no French, and no culture for homosexuality (ie, prep-schools and oxbridge), but still. It was scarily high-brow, and not at all what I was expecting. Did the audience know what to expect, I wonder?

I want to run around hitting people in the head with exercise books, like Hector. " The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you'd thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you've never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it's as if a hand has come out, and taken yours." Also Hector's, though I am not so sure I agree with him. The most wonderful part of reading is new ideas, not the recognition.

The Photographic Portrait Prize 2007 exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery was fantastic. I only wish they had the catalogue, so I could look more closely at some of the shots.

And oh, this country fails at everything.
nirinia: (Default)
I want to read literary theory, but where on earth to begin? And about theatre. And I think I should start reading Norwegian again, my written Norwegian is god-awful - and I think I shall write something about why I dislike Vinje.


It is no secret that I think Norwegian school is, for the most part, useless. A school based on the notion that everyone is alike and has the same abilities, is bound to fail. While learning is partly about good technique discipline, it is also about talent and ability. Genetic disposition and environment, leave some children more favourably disposed for mathematics others for languages. Schools teaching at a middle level leave the above- and below-average students bored and helpless. If an above-average student asks for more challenging work, he is awarded with more work on the same level. And in the instance that someone needs help, the teacher does not have time enough to explain as thoroughly as needed.

It leaves everyone but those of average skill, accomplishment or motivation out. It continues on, with upper secondary being mandatory in all but law. There is a too high percentage of people taking higher education, and yet we put everyone through upper secondary? What could have been a stimulating environment for those interested in higher education turns into a kindergarten, where Norway's 18-year-olds are kept to make sure they know their advanced Maths when they end up sitting behind a counter.

On the other hand, I made a scary discovery today. We discussed society's development and how it turned into what we have today, and it struck me that I have learned so much these past 6 months that I should have been taught long ago. The workings of politics, how wars and crises spur development, for instance. As it turns out, my disinterest in politics has simply been due to lack of knowledge. I even read papers with interest, these days, because I was taught how to read them! Not directly, but through social anthropology and history.

How can anyone make sense of what goes on around them without having been introduced to these things? Much less take part in debates? But then the question of whether or not everyone should participate arises. Democracy, which in reality, does not function as well as we would like because everyone does not have the same competence? Or centralism, which leaves the competency in charge? Is the competency not already in charge? Because most of us do not possess, or, in the even that we possess it, use, the necessary competence those in charge are left to govern on more or less their own premises (simplifying things horribly, and leaving media and the judiciary, for instance, out of the equation) - taking the play that is politics into account.
nirinia: (Default)
I want to read literary theory, but where on earth to begin? And about theatre. And I think I should start reading Norwegian again, my written Norwegian is god-awful - and I think I shall write something about why I dislike Vinje.


It is no secret that I think Norwegian school is, for the most part, useless. A school based on the notion that everyone is alike and has the same abilities, is bound to fail. While learning is partly about good technique discipline, it is also about talent and ability. Genetic disposition and environment, leave some children more favourably disposed for mathematics others for languages. Schools teaching at a middle level leave the above- and below-average students bored and helpless. If an above-average student asks for more challenging work, he is awarded with more work on the same level. And in the instance that someone needs help, the teacher does not have time enough to explain as thoroughly as needed.

It leaves everyone but those of average skill, accomplishment or motivation out. It continues on, with upper secondary being mandatory in all but law. There is a too high percentage of people taking higher education, and yet we put everyone through upper secondary? What could have been a stimulating environment for those interested in higher education turns into a kindergarten, where Norway's 18-year-olds are kept to make sure they know their advanced Maths when they end up sitting behind a counter.

On the other hand, I made a scary discovery today. We discussed society's development and how it turned into what we have today, and it struck me that I have learned so much these past 6 months that I should have been taught long ago. The workings of politics, how wars and crises spur development, for instance. As it turns out, my disinterest in politics has simply been due to lack of knowledge. I even read papers with interest, these days, because I was taught how to read them! Not directly, but through social anthropology and history.

How can anyone make sense of what goes on around them without having been introduced to these things? Much less take part in debates? But then the question of whether or not everyone should participate arises. Democracy, which in reality, does not function as well as we would like because everyone does not have the same competence? Or centralism, which leaves the competency in charge? Is the competency not already in charge? Because most of us do not possess, or, in the even that we possess it, use, the necessary competence those in charge are left to govern on more or less their own premises (simplifying things horribly, and leaving media and the judiciary, for instance, out of the equation) - taking the play that is politics into account.
nirinia: (Default)
Rant about Reisen til Julestjernen, my new favourite scenographer and the magnificence of the play coming up tomorrow, when I have enough presense of mind to edit this. And am not sleep-deprived, slightly hung over and suffering from too much food.

---------------------------

There, I am coherent again, so edit follows:

Reisen til julestjernen was absolutely magical. The few edits, or liberties, they had taken to make it more modern did nothing to make it less sweet or less of a good story. It made it more appropriate and fun. But what completely blew me away, was the scene! And the costumes. The gothic touches to the building, the grandeur, it reminded me of Burton at his best. Ah, the count, the count! I mustn't forget him. He reminded me of a Disney villain, and I cannot pretend to not have found him delectable. He even mwhahahahaed. And was generally cute.

The next time the scenographic genious that is John-Kristian Alsaker does something, I am seeing it no matter what. Well, perhaps I'll amend that if it is Godot or Le theatre de l'absurde, in general. I just cannot deal with that movement. Maybe I'm too young, or just uneducated.

Following a reading of Time and Place, by Alan Sheridan, I announced that I was stage-struck. I thought I was slightly over that, but it appears I am not at all. I want to know everything about the theatre, the stage, the actors, the playwrights, the workings of theatrical magic. I am so in love (and very happy that I have no need to stand on-stage, but rather see something of mine performed on it.) Post-London I will have to go on a theatrical book-buying spree.

------------

University English and the course "Introduction to British Literature", is happening. I am doing the lot, including the exam (which, I am confident will be quite miserable). I even filed the world's shortest, most hopeless application of sorts. Haha, Katrine is totally to blame.
nirinia: (Default)
Rant about Reisen til Julestjernen, my new favourite scenographer and the magnificence of the play coming up tomorrow, when I have enough presense of mind to edit this. And am not sleep-deprived, slightly hung over and suffering from too much food.

---------------------------

There, I am coherent again, so edit follows:

Reisen til julestjernen was absolutely magical. The few edits, or liberties, they had taken to make it more modern did nothing to make it less sweet or less of a good story. It made it more appropriate and fun. But what completely blew me away, was the scene! And the costumes. The gothic touches to the building, the grandeur, it reminded me of Burton at his best. Ah, the count, the count! I mustn't forget him. He reminded me of a Disney villain, and I cannot pretend to not have found him delectable. He even mwhahahahaed. And was generally cute.

The next time the scenographic genious that is John-Kristian Alsaker does something, I am seeing it no matter what. Well, perhaps I'll amend that if it is Godot or Le theatre de l'absurde, in general. I just cannot deal with that movement. Maybe I'm too young, or just uneducated.

Following a reading of Time and Place, by Alan Sheridan, I announced that I was stage-struck. I thought I was slightly over that, but it appears I am not at all. I want to know everything about the theatre, the stage, the actors, the playwrights, the workings of theatrical magic. I am so in love (and very happy that I have no need to stand on-stage, but rather see something of mine performed on it.) Post-London I will have to go on a theatrical book-buying spree.

------------

University English and the course "Introduction to British Literature", is happening. I am doing the lot, including the exam (which, I am confident will be quite miserable). I even filed the world's shortest, most hopeless application of sorts. Haha, Katrine is totally to blame.
nirinia: (Default)
I revere theatre. To number a few more fitting superlatives, I adore, love, worship, hold dear; am infatuated, smitten, besotted with theatre. We saw "Arsenic and Old Lace" ("Arsenikk og gamle kniplinger") yesterday, and loved it.


------------

And, I wrote something earlier. Joy!
nirinia: (Default)
I revere theatre. To number a few more fitting superlatives, I adore, love, worship, hold dear; am infatuated, smitten, besotted with theatre. We saw "Arsenic and Old Lace" ("Arsenikk og gamle kniplinger") yesterday, and loved it.


------------

And, I wrote something earlier. Joy!

October 2012

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