Gender seminar – day 3
(Introduction: some of this is written on day 4, because my laptop died on me before I had a time to finish it, and so it will not, as later stated, be a short post.)
Yet another day packed with activities. Today, three of the nominees for the Montana literary prize were introduced to us – Harald Voetmann’s ‘Vågen’, Hans Otto Jørgensen’s ‘Sæt Asta fri’ and Majse Aymo-Boot’s ‘Ødelæggelserne 1-11’. Then Lilian Munk Rösing held a lecture on Antichrist titled “To free (oneself from) mother’s desire”. After dinner we went to listen to the panel discussion of the nominees and later this evening we are going to a reading and a concert. As my computer is dying due to lack of juice, and every socket in the room is leased on a more or less ongoing basis, this will be a short post.
Lilian Munk Rösing’s lecture was really interesting and a very different take on the movie so many have either had physical or/and emotional reactions of a very loud character. So many have criticized von Trier and seen a clear misogynistic message in the movie. Rösing proposes a different stanze which bases itself in the tension between the bestial/brutal and the beautiful/pleasing, rather than seeing the movie as an image of nature versus civilization. She reads the movie as a dream, an in-between place where tragedy lies between two deaths; the social and the physical. There is of course lacanian/freudian psychology all over the lecture, but since I am prone to this myself I don’t mind it one bit 🙂 One of the things she lays emphasis on, which I also felt was a strong point in the movie, was the (excuse the choice of wording) nature of the anti-romantic universe. We are beyond the understanding of nature as essentially good and welcoming to humans, and in its place is nature as indifferent. There is no meta-order, so everything is a possible sign. And von Trier’s movie is a continuous string of signs that can keep its viewer up and scheming for hours.
The presentation of the three nominees for Montana’s literary prize was informative, packed with laden sentences and well articulated views to say the least. So much that I had a cold sweat just thinking about standing up and asking a question in front of these übermenschens of cultural intelligentsia. You are really on your toes the whole time, and at the same time there is so much room here for different views and thoughts on the same subjects. It is so interesting to see how different people interpret something you have fixated on for a while.