Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Harahorn

Barely had the virtual ink dried on my previous blog post before I was informed that I had been given a complimentary upgrade to SAS Plus. And right now I am at 30 000 feet just above Trondheim. While it may still be a bit early if I am to keep with tradition, I thought I should take a break from working and compose another of those legendary transatlantic blog entries. Today I am flying with “Bele Viking” which is one of SAS’s new Airbus 330s. Thanks to flying Plus, I was treated to some Harahorn (the Norwegian equivalent of a “jackalope”) gin and tonic, enough to take me everywhere from Delhi to Dallas.

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Over the last decade, there has been a proliferation of “handbooks”, “companions” and “encyclopaedias” about every conceivable academic topic by the big university presses. While I have contributed to one such volume myself, I have mostly seen them as a way of milking money from poor university libraries. Still, when reading a chapter by Michelle Niemann featured in The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities I realize that I, again, have been too quick to judge. Niemann’s chapter is called “Hubris and Humility in Environmental Thought” and is the kind of text that I really wish had existed when I started working on my PhD fourteen years ago. Not only would it have prevented me from making some embarrassing mistakes but it would have put me in contact with others with similar dreams and visions. While I always suspected that much of what I wanted to say had already been said in the 1970’s by Stewart Brand and others, the extent to which this is in fact the case is still slightly mindboggling. In my darker moments, I am back with The Hives: “I hear you are one in a million but there is a million of you”.

After the Dialogue, I plan to take my rental car into the desert. Känslan av att nå fullt ut men aldrig ända fram.

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