Cemeteries and the Tangible Past

A few weeks ago, I went to the 26th biennial conference for the Nordic Association for American Studies (NAAS). The conference theme, “Monuments,” reflected our current cultural moment, a moment in which we have collectively engaged in conversations about both physical and metaphorical monuments, especially as they relate to the narratives we tell ourselves. Today, I want to take a moment and reflect upon one of the keynote speeches, Richard Rodriguez‘s “Stone Ghosts: Deconstructing and Reconstructing American Memory.” I have many problems with some of things that Rodriguez argued; however, those are not the aspects I wish to focus on today. Rather, I wish to look at the larger existential thoughts that he presented.

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The Great Gatsby Lecture Part II

In my previous post, I discussed my lecture of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925). (I have the slides on Google Docs.) I wrote about the way that Fitzgerald, from the outset, constructs the novel as a facade, the ways that the novel does not accept all of its readers, and I concluded with the ways that the novel pushes back against xenophobic ideas such as Tom Buchanan’s belief in the superiority of the Nordic race. Today, I want to talk about the rest of the lecture.

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Tensions in Karpe’s «Hvite menn som pusher 50»

Last post, I dove into the refrain of Karpe’s «Hvite menn som pusher 50» (“White men pushing 50”), specifically looking at the ways that the “Heisann Montebello” operates within the song and across the album. Today, I want to continue my discussion of «Hvite menn som pusher 50» by looking at the verses and parts of the video and live performance that I mentioned last post. As with all of these posts, this will not be a comprehensive exploration of the song; rather, I see it serving as an entry point into Karpe’s work and notably Heisann Montebello.

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