Category Archives: Meta

2012

At Tegner's Museum in May

At Tegner’s Museum in May

New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but I inspired by And All Suns Are Darkened I thought I’d do a 2012-themed blog post.

2012 was an awe-inspiring year for me. I met a wonderful man in April, I got a new job in September, I moved in with aforementioned wonderful man in October, and that same month I was published for the first time in a major Danish newspaper, with an essay on Tove Jansson’s moomin books.

Midsummer's Eve

Midsummer’s Eve

Highlights of the year include sitting on a hill at the Tegner Museum in Northern Sealand with my boyfriend on a warm, sunny day in May and feeling quite unbelievably happy (which was admittedly what I was vague blogging about here). Strolling with him along the Vltava in Prague in July.

Death and Mirth at the astronomical clock in Prague

Death and Mirth at the astronomical clock in Prague. July

Happy, rainy day near Vysehrad, Prague. July

Happy, rainy day near Vysehrad, Prague. July

Getting the call on an early September afternoon from the HR manager at my new work place and being told that I was offered the job. Seeing my name in that essay on Jansson, illustrated by Jansson’s incredible artwork. Coming home to my boyfriend on dark blue December evenings, dead tired from a long day of work, to sit down and have dinner with him while watching Christmas specials and movies and looking forward to the holidays with an excitement I haven’t felt for decades.

Moomin sketched in the tapestry of a Copenhagen café by unknown artist. November.

Moomin sketched in the wallpaper of a Copenhagen café by unknown artist. November.

My blog, however, has suffered a little during this very busy past year of mine. When I look back now, all my favourite entries are from early 2012, that is, before all these life-changing events started happening. In January I delivered my few, inadequate words about Schubert, and I stand by those words especially during these January when my usual Schubert craze sets in:

To me the switch to major tonality in the opening lied “Gute Nacht” has always been what solidified the sadness of it, and set the tone for the rest of the lied cycle which, I believe, is a cycle about an infitine, hopeless sadness. To me, the major tonality in this lied, and the rest of the lieder, signifies the recognition of the lost beauty, or love, or happiness without which the sadness would be bearable.

I also did a piece about the cuckold as a comical figure that I had actually completely forgotten about since I wrote it, but there it is:

What is so exceptionally fascinating in Pagliacci is, however, that Leoncavallo examines the tragic aspects of the cuckold man all the while acknowledging the comic potential of the motif. The central aria of the opera revolves around the idea of laughing at the cuckold buffoon (“Ridi, Pagliaccio!”), and in the frantic play-within-the-play ending the opera, the ambiguity of the cuckold as a comical/tragic figure is constantly at play. The audience-within-the-play wants nothing more than to laugh at the buffoon, but cuckold Canio’s very real despair is constantly creeping into the caricatured pantomime grief of the cuckold Pagliaccio.

I also kind of like that I did a blog post in the past year about my appreciation of boy bands:

What the boy bands did with their elaborate dancing routines was to send off the signal of a serious effort being made in order to please a female audience. With their performances they created a piece of irresistible fiction about young men teaming up and going out of their way to satisfy a woman…

And I stand by my criticism of MTV’s Plain Jane (although I have to say that I really miss that show. For some reason I haven’t caught a single episode of it for months now and I gotta hand it to Louise Roe & Co. – it’s a darned entertaining program):

The “learn-how-to-flirt-with-guys” challenges that the Plain Janes are put up to are a little less offensive to me, since these could easily be seen as a way of learning how to get the young women to have fun and let loose a little, and these exercises don’t have the approval of one specific guy as their focus. The actual scenes, however, suffer a great deal from being so obviously staged: The allegedly random guys are clearly hired actors, and if I were one of the Plain Janes the idea that the show had to hire people to flirt with me would not exactly make me feel more self confident.

And reviewing 1998 slasher flick Urban Legend was a welcome opportunity to revisit some of my favourite folklore:

Urban legend characters are traditionally vaguely defined archtypes who don’t need any real introduction: The Babysitter, The Killer, The Ignorant Tourist etc. Since the urban legend-teller will usually insist that these are people he knows or at least knows of, we will usually be able to relate to the characters even if we know very little about them. This aspect is of course lost in a movie, where we’re constantly aware that we’re watching a piece of fiction played out by actors. So an urban legend movie is  dependant on our being able to identify with the characters on screen, and this is a huge problem in Urban Legend. The casting consists almost entirely of secondary actors from 1990s tv-shows. Between Pacey from Dawson’s Creek, Toni from 90210, Gersten from Twin Peaks, and Jordan from My So Called Life the H!ITG-factor  gets kind of distracting …

That review was from April, and I actually don’t think I’ve done much blogging worth mentioning since then. I can’t imagine what 2013 has in store for me, but so far things seem promising: Last week we celebrated my mother’s 60th birthday, and I got to give her a speech for the first time in my life, and to see her surrounded by her best friends, all so eager to pay tribute to this incredible woman who means the world to me. And three days ago, my little nephew was born, a healthy, lovely boy. I have received a photo of him swaddled in a white cloth with blue teddy bears on it that used to belong to my brother and later to me when we were babies. The boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Jutland to see him and his parents, and I cannot wait to hold that darling little boy, my parents’ first grandchild, in my arms.

But I’m getting a little more accustomed to my new life, my new apartment, and life with my boyfriend every day. And among my 2013 new year’s resolutions is definitely: “Blog more”. I’m looking forward to that. So happy 2013, everyone! And thanks for sticking around.

Happy New Year. New Year's Eve

Happy New Year. New Year’s Eve

We’ll Take a Cup o’ Kindness Yet, for Auld Lang Syne

It’s New Year’s Eve, and the fireworks are going crazy outside my window while people are partying all over the city. I’m at home alone in bed, shivering and wrapped in a blanket while nibbling at a new year’s feast consisting of dry little crackers – the first thing I’ve been able to eat all day, because I have apparently caught some kind of stomach bug. (I know! Sometimes it’s scary how glamorous and exciting my life is. Try not to get too jealous.).

I hope you guys are having a much more festive evening and that you will have a wonderful new year. I want to thank you for reading along and commenting in the year that has passed. Blog-wise, 2011 was the year that I got quite a lot more readers and commenters (I have an average of about 100 more readers now than I did by the end of 2010), and I find this truly humbling. According to my stats surprisingly large number of you were readers stopping by to read my post about 1990s sitcom Blossom, but a lot of you also hung around and left me inspiring and insightful comments, especially on my posts from 2007 and 2010 about the tableau vivant in literature and about the character of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto. Some of you I still owe an answer to your comments. I apologise for this – I will get to it ASAP, and I hope you know that your comments are deeply appreciated. You guys make it worth the effort to sit down in front of the keyboard after a long day of hard work.

As a token of my gratitude and a New Year’s present, I thought of sharing with you the insanely adorable video from Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt – “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve“, but I’m sure you’ve already seen that on a gazillion other blogs, no? Plus, the lyrics

“Who’s gonna be the one to hold you tight/when it’s exactly 12 o’clock at night?”

are making me a little verklempt in my bedridden, lonely state. So instead I’d like to end the year 2011 with the melancholy Farewell Waltz from Waterloo Bridge – “For Auld Lang Syne”. With the risk of tooting my own horn, I have to say that my post about this 1940 movie was a favourite of mine on the blog this year, and seeing the movie was one of my best film experiences of 2011, so it seems appropriate.

Search Engine Term Goodness

Holy Christ, readers, I love you guys and your bizarre search engine terms. According to my blog stats, someone found my blog by googling the words “f*ck quest 2: romancing the bone”.

To whomever did that search: Sorry, I have no information about this without doubt inspired piece, but thanks for making my day!

Euphemism

I love my blog stats. And I have to say that I find it completely adorable that someone found my blog by googling the words “Ladies with no clothes on at all”. I imagine that this person really wanted to type in “naked chickzz” or something like that, but then at the last minute he or she decided that that was too crude, and went with “Ladies with no clothes on”. But then he or she just really, really wanted to emphasise the nude aspect of it, and thus added the “at all”.

I’m almost kind of sad to think how disappointed this person must have been with what he/she found here. I believe that the only ladies with no clothes on at all I have ever featured are Bernini’s Proserpine and Rembrandt’s Susanna.