A blank page. Blinding. They say white is not a colour, yet it lights up the screen in front of me. Not polluted by a single black line. Only a page, whiter than the snow. This blank page is often used to symbolize new beginnings, so why does it feel so threatening? Perhaps it is due to all the deadlines in the past. All the expectations that you had to fill the blank page with meaningful words, even when it seemed impossible. Writing not for the sake of writing, but for the sake of being evaluated. A blank page. A possibility to convey your inner feelings, your hopes and your opinions. But the words, they fall short. They always do. No matter how hard you try, the words do not convey what you wanted. That does not mean that it won’t mean something to others. Every great piece of literature started as a blank page. An idea. An endless will to make the words something else than just random lines on a piece of paper. A will to provoke, to engage you, to make you think. A plank page. What does it mean to you?
In today’s society, it is almost impossible not to compare oneself to others. It could be the picture of a fit person on Instagram making you feel as though you don’t work out hard enough. It could be the person next to you delivering amazing results at work. Last, but not least, it could be the pretty models covering every surface of a magazine. Whether you have a conscious awareness of it or not, the never-ending stream of information makes it difficult to be pleased with your own results. That is why I believe it is important to redefine how you look at yourself and your achievements.
The goal: To be pleased with yourself even though you’re not the best, the fittest or the prettiest person alive. By changing the way you look at things, the things you look at will eventually change, making everyday life less stressful and easier to enjoy.
At the moment it feels though as every inch of my surroundings is covered in a thick layer of snow, leaving the world a little bit more quiet and peaceful.
Music that means something
From a young age, my relationship with music has been a special one. I remember lying in bed for hours and hours just listening to the words and melodies. Since then I have spent countless days wrapped up in my own little musical bubble.
My taste in music has varied a lot over the years, however, there is one band that I always return to. Last week Karpe Diem released three new songs, and I am thrilled. I have listened to their music for years, and yet they still manage to exceed my expectations. They do what great musicians do, namely shine a light on social or political problems. They provoke. They make you think. Combine that with chilling and beautiful melodies, and you have a winning combo.
Music is, in my opinion, a form of art that can contribute to discussion and raise awareness around important subjects in our time. The power of words is therefore something that should not be underestimated. “A word says more than a thousand drawings” is a quote taken from the song “Tusen tegninger”, and Karpe Diem prove it over and over again. They have the ability to find the words to describe feelings that you could never have found yourself. And for that, I truly admire them.
So if you want to listen to something new, I would recommend Karpe Diem. If you are not Norwegian, then just listen to the melodies.
Reykjavik – Landmannalaugar- Vestmannaeyjar- Reykjavik
This summer, my destination was Iceland. Together with some friends, I travelled around the southern part of the island. Everywhere I turned the nature was breathtaking. As a volcanic Island without trees, the sights were different from what I am used to, but that made it ever more stunning in my eyes. And as if that is not enough, I have rarely met nicer and more helpful people than during my 10 days there.
The trip started and ended with a couple of days in Reykjavik, a city I fell in love with. The city center is colorful with many small independent shops and good food. Under you find my favorite places to live, eat and shop:
The Laundromat is the café/restaurant where we ate most of our meals. I
recommend going there for a brunch on Sundays, as it was mouthwatering. The restaurant is also worth a visit simply because of the interior, a mixture of shelves with colorful books and old maps on the walls.
This place is situated a bit outside the city center, but it is known for its traditional Icelandic ice cream. It is open to around midnight, and when we arrived around 23, the shop was full of customers.
The Kolaportid flea market – Tryggvagata 19
Every week- end, people from different parts of the city gather in a hall to sell their goods. If you are interested in vintage clothes and traditional Icelandic food, it is the perfect place. If you are as lucky as I was, you can find some vintage treasures. Remember to bring cash, as they do not accept cards.
The Perception of Time
With the working title “The Hours”, Mrs. Dalloway is a novel which is, not surprisingly, about time. However, by changing the title, Woolf made the theme more subtle. The film “The Hours”, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham, reintroduces this title to underscore the common theme. Through the use of different narrative techniques, such as broken chronology, narrative and point of view, both stories depict how time can be perceived differently.
Firstly, a broken chronology is used to separate the objective and subjective time. Both Mrs. Dalloway and “The Hours” happen during the course of one day, thus giving a linear time-frame for the events. However, in Mrs. Dalloway the objective time is constantly challenged by an inner time, namely the characters subjective perception of time. This is depicted through the stream- of- consciousness method, showing how ones thoughts are never only in the present. Likewise, the chronology in the film “The Hours“ is broken by the fact that the three stories are seemingly entwined and affected by each other, despite the separation in time, and that they begin with the end. By using chronology and a broken chronology as a technique, the inevitable passage of time is contrasted with the characters drifting thoughts in Mrs. Dalloway and the separation in time in “The Hours”.
Likewise, narration is used to contrast the passage of time with people’s inner time. For instance, in Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf uses the stream- of consciousness method as a narrative technique. This method allows the reader to experience the characters thoughts, and consequently their perception of time, as their thoughts drift from the present to the past and future. The daydreaming is consequently broken off by the sound of Big Ben each hour, bringing them back to the present. However, as a film, “The Hours” does not have the same ability to convey the thoughts of the characters as they are depicted by the narrator. Yet, the past is often a subject of conversation, and, the lives of the characters are at several occasions broken off by the sounding of a clock. The effect of breaking off the characters’ daydreaming is that their inner time is contrasted with the inevitable passage of time.
The point of view is also central in depicting the inner time. The narrator in Mrs. Dalloway is omnipresent, like a cloud hovering over all the characters, plunging in to one person’s mind after the other. By breaking up the point of view, Woolf manages to depict the diversity in how people perceive time. The linear time, showing that each second brings us closer to death, evokes a different sentiment in the characters. “There! Out it boomed, first a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable” (Woolf, 1925). Whereas Clarissa Dalloway is afraid of the time passing and the prospect of death, Septimus seems at ease with the passage of time and, consequently, he welcomes it as he later welcomes death. In contrast, “The Hours” does not have the same opportunity to plunge into someone’s mind, instead the shifting point of view is conveyed through skilled editing. For instance, the film focuses on similar events in the life of the characters, and uses these similarities to make an effortless transition between the different stories. For instance, in the beginning, when Woolf thinks of an opening line to the book, the story is cut to the story where Laura is reading the line, and then to Clarissa buying the flowers. The understanding of the inner time, however, demands a better insight into the minds of the characters. The shifting point of view is, therefore, a way of showing time as individual rather than only objective.
To conclude, the novel Mrs. Dalloway and the film “The Hours” both depict the passage of time. By using different narrative techniques to convey the theme, the linear passage of time and the subjective perception of it is separated and contrasted, and leaves the reader with the impression that time is a big part of someone’s life.
Daldry, S. (Director). (2002). The Hours [Motion Picture].
Woolf, V. (1925). Mrs- Dalloway .
This year I have English literature and Culture as one of my in-depth subjects. After learning more about Shakespeare these past two weeks, I have come to realize just how wrong I was when I tried to analyze Sonnet 18 last time. What mistake did I make? I made the mistake of underestimating Shakespeare’s work, choosing to only focus on what first meets the eye. This is, therefore, an attempt to make up for that ignorance I showed last time.
Sonnet 18 is a Shakespearian sonnet, meaning that it is divided into 4 quatrains, each with 4 lines, and a final couplet (2 lines). It is in the final couplet one often finds the true meaning of the sonnet, and in the case of sonnet 18, the lines are a big part of understanding that it is simply not only a declaration of love. Furthermore, the sonnet has the form of abab cdcd efef gg, meaning that the last word on line 1 rhymes with the last word on line 3 and the last word on line 2 rhymes with line 4 and so on.
First, Shakespeare asks if he can compare his loved one to a summer’s day. He debates around whether it fits or not, as she is lovelier and more temperate, and the summer often is too short, the sun too hot and the wind too rough. However, the focus on summer coming to an end can be seen as a parallel to her beauty and how it will eventually fade. Therefore, he begins to refer to her as an eternal summer that will never fade away and die. The twist to this declaration of love becomes clear from line 12- 14, where he shifts his focus, and begins to talk about his eternal lines. As long as his work can be appreciated and read, her beauty will be shown to people. Therefore, one can say that the sonnet is really a tribute to poetry itself, making it a Meta poem (a poem about a poem).
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.