The mellifluous, impenetrable language of theory is often thought of as a sign of sophistication. But it can just as well serve as a way of covering over underlying inconsistency or lack of substance. It all depends on how it is being used … And I must admit, I’m not very happy with the way … More Sophistication?!

Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life

Being sceptical to psychoanalysis as a therapeutic method in cases of severe mental illness, I still believe that psychoanalytical theory has a lot to offer the fields of arts and humanities. One of the most interesting contemporary writers in this field is the British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips. Here is from his book “Missing Out: In … More Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life

If it is true, as Stendhal famously remarked, that beauty is the promise of happiness; what then is ugliness the promise of?

  What is ugly? Who is ugly? – cont.  According to Umberto Eco: Beauty is, in some ways, boring. Even if its concept changes throughout the ages, nevertheless a beautiful object must always follow certain rules. … Ugliness is unpredictable and offers an infinite range of possibilities. Beauty is finite. Ugliness is infinite, like God. … More If it is true, as Stendhal famously remarked, that beauty is the promise of happiness; what then is ugliness the promise of?


What is ugly? Who is ugly? Is ugliness at all a word, a description, a kind of characterization one can use? Copyright© Iiu Susiraja I am working on a short text about the Finnish artist Iiu Susiraja. Susiraja is a photographer using her own body as subject and motif. What is most striking about Susiraja’s appearance, is … More Ugly???

in Bergen

– spending my morning mulling over: Musée des Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters: how well they understood Its human position; how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting … More in Bergen


Me, tangled up in art Last weekend I went to see Tomás Saraceno: 14 Billions (Working Title), on show in SKMU. Saraceno’s use of science, and his way of combining science and art, in all his projects, is very impressive. He works together with biologists, engineers, mathematicians etc. to develop his ideas and put them into aesthetic forms, forms which … More ART as EXPERIENCE


This post made me want to take a closer look at Rita Felski’s book Uses of Literature (2008). Felski’s intention is to bridge the gap between literary theory and common-sense beliefs about why we read literature. Uses of Literature deals with four key elements of the reading experience: recognition, enchantment, knowledge, and shock. These four recall, as she … More enchantment