In 2007 I packed up the office since I was going to be away for a year. When I came back, it took a year before I managed to unpack. There was something about the feeling of being slightly away that I enjoyed, an illusion of not being quite there. But at the same time I felt the absence of my books keenly, and one by one the boxes found their way into the office, there to be opened and rummaged through, in the search of one book or another.
Now I have managed to unpack almost all, and get them back into shelves. But then I have to make decisions like the following:
I am the proud owner of a copy of self-published material from the Institute of Nordic language and culture in Bergen, from 1983. It's not even removely relevant, and I think it used to belong to my husband. Do I throw it away? Before you say YES, I should mention that it contains two early works by professor Toril Moi, from before she finished her Dr. art. in Comparative literature.
It's 26 years old, and I bet Toril Moi would like to forget all about those two articles - one on Narcissism in Hedda Gabler, the other on Freud's Dora. I, however, find that I cherish them just because of that. In the shelves I just unpacked there should be (unless my daughter has borrowed it) a book by Toril Moi on one of the women she admires, Simone de Beauvoir. At the same time Toril Moi has almost become a similar icon to female Norwegian scholars: One of those big names that you mention to let people know that yes, there are great, successful Norwegian scholars out there.
And she came out of Bergen.
And in 1983 she published in this little, yellow booklet: Lacan * Kristeva * Freud * Hertz * Ibsen, Eigenproduksjon, nr 18, 1983.
I think I'll keep it.