Job Talk

Today one of the graduate students in my department wanted to do a practice of his job talk--he is a finalist for a position at the German Department at the University of Oregon (or Oregon State, not really sure which). So all the professors in the department and most of the graduate students gathered in the seminar room while he did a run through. The talk was well outside of my area of expertise, focusing on the Norwegian poet Jacobsen. My basic understanding of the talk was that Jacobsen would not have been a Nazi sympathizer if he was an accomplished nihilist, but because he was an imperfect nihilist he tended to look for utopian solutions to the world's problems (ie: modernity). In terms of Jacobsen scholarship, this suggests that the normal strategy of ignoring his days as a Nazi sympathizer is not necessary, but rather to understand that he hated modernity so much, even Nazism sounded better.

For my own scholarship, I was interested to hear that a late 20th century Norwegian poet was still making references to Ragnarok in his writings. I thought that went away with the Modern Breakthrough.

Comments

Jon said…
An interesting book about the occupation of Norway is Folklore Fights the Nazis by Kathleen Stokker. It gives a different perspective of that part of history.

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