10:28:25 pmCategories: Writing, Academic life and family

Manifesto for faster writing and shorter workdays

Belleville streetart
To my surprise I discovered that it was easy to change my way of writing and even my way of working more generally. The writing came easiest. When I wrote my master thesis, on very good days I could produce half a page. I could file and mould every sentence for hours, a technique I think contributed to the far too dense structure. Not only is the fluency easily lost, but I also started to find it a boring way to work.

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10:59:12 pmCategories: Writing, Paris

Create expectations for the reader

Canal St. Martin, summer in Paris

I wrote about my expectations of Hemingway’s little book from his early years in Paris, A moveable feast, a while ago. Silly me thought I would find the reason why it was particularly hard to write about Paris in his book, as he wrote so evocatively:

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12:02:52Categories: Riots

The poetics of revolt

A journalist just phoned and reminded me that the riots in the French suburbs started this day five years ago.

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01:38:24 pmCategories: Fieldwork, Paris

Fieldwork - a moveable feast?

Maybe away from Paris I could write about Paris as in Paris I could write about Michigan. I did not know it was too early for that because I did not know Paris well enough. But that was how it worked out eventually (A moveable feast, 2007, p. 4).

It took Hemingway several decades to write about Paris.

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10:46:30 pmCategories: Anthropological notes

Presentation presence - and Catania!

It’s not always easy to say why some presentations feel like they go well while others feel just bland and indifferent.

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09:25:45 pmCategories: Places, Distinctions, Peculiarities

Adieu again

The clouds hang low over Oslo Airport. Typical nice autumn weather, the captain called it. The weather is not necessarily so nice in Paris either, so I’ll not jump to any easy comparison…

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11:18:17 pmCategories: Fieldwork, Spaces, Academic life and family, Paris

The multilingual playground

(Early Sunday morning. Where are my playmates?)

It’s not the first time I write about how I enjoy hanging out in Parisian playgrounds (see posts from 2005 and 2007). They’re small to middle sized and every neighbourhood seem to have one. So, if you’re looking for a green and shady place to relax for a while and observe the local way of life, a playground can be recommended. Earlier, I haven’t paid much attention to the standard of the equipment, but this time I quickly noticed that all the parks in this part of the town have got new, exciting and very varied games for the different age sets. Perhaps this is part of an renovation of the public spaces in the Northeastern and poorer districts of Paris?

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09:21:56 pmCategories: Paris

Noctambulism (viewed from a balcony on 7th floor)

There’s a time for everything, I’ve thought many times the last two years: One does one thing for a while, and then things change again. This time, I hear the night birds down in the street slowly making their way home after a night out in Paris, while I sit at the balcony listening to my child talk about the - for him – new wonders of twilight: “Look! Stal!”, “Play in the darkt!” and “Go down there!” - probably not because he wants to join the people hanging around down there, but because the street sweepers have turned on the water to flow through the gutter before they comes with their green broom at places where the little green sweeper and high pressure water cars can’t reach. He likes this early morning procedure (apparently earlier in weekends than in the week, as it usually happens a little later, at the when we go to the bakery to get breakfast. Maybe it’s because it’s more debris after Friday and Saturday night.) And I like it too, and I think about all the work that has to be done continuously to maintain good living conditions in an urban environment where the population density is as high as it is here (Around 40 000 per km2).

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