Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ibsen, Dogs and Food

A little over a week ago I took a trip to the Ibsen Museum in Oslo. (Yes...I've not blogged in a while...whoops!)  

The day started out really nice...and kind of weird. I had the train to myself...all to myself.  It was a little weird, but then people joined.  Let's take a minute to appreciate how clean, spacious, and lovely the public transportation is.  There is no trash or dirt on these floors.  The train has a coffee machine and a bathroom.  I love you Norway!  ...And on to the Ibsen Museum.

The Ibsen Museum was wonderful and my theatre heart was a-flutter! Short overview for those not geeking out on theatre 24-7.  Henrik Ibsen (1828 - 1906) is a renown Norwegian playwright who primarily wrote in the late nineteenth century.  His plays encompassed a wide range of topics, but it is primarily his middle period of writing that we regard so highly.  He, along with a few other European writers and a director, helped shape realism, which is the primarily dramatic style seen today.  Basically all Western acting, theatrical structure, directing, design, was influenced by him.  Also, his most famous play, A Doll's House, ushered in a way of looking at female characters that changed them from victims to protagonists.  (That last statement might be a little strong, but you get the idea.)

I teach A Doll's House every year and I'm not sure I would know how to teach text analysis without that play.  I also love his play Hedda Gabler, and An Enemy of the People.  If you don't know Ibsen, google him, read one of his plays...or at least get the movie adaptation!

The museum was the apartment he had the last 11 years of this life.  He was living well!
Why yes that IS a view of the palace from his window.  

Most of the rooms were protected by glass so I couldn't go in them, but he did have several fancy stoves in each room.  This was a luxury at the time, but the craftsmanship on them were gorgeous!
Impressive huh? 

The apartment was nice, but my favorite part was that I was the only one on the tour!  Apparently there are not thousands of Norwegians flocking to this museum on a random Saturday.  I don't understand!  The tour guide was a literature scholar and she and I had a great time chatting about his plays and talking about his impact on the world.  Honestly, I don't remember much about the house, but the conversation was wonderful! 

They did have a great exhibit after the tour about Ibsen and his impact AND they had a mini-exhibit about how he influenced the Beatles!  Yes, John Lennon loved Ibsen and was going to name The White Album A Doll's House after the Ibsen play, but another band got to the name first so they just left it the White Album.  Also, some speculate that John's signature round glasses are a nod to Ibsen's round glasses.  I think I can accurately conclude that if you like the Beatles you are a Henrik Ibsen fan.  

Most of the pictures I took didn't turn out well because of the glass, but the bathroom was precious and this is an Ibsen tile. These were throughout the bathroom and I love them!  They are a little judgey when you're in the bathroom, but I want an Ibsen bathroom tile!

After the museum I met up with Kenzo and Nick for some delicious desserts and prosecco. Kenzo just came with us inside.  I love how dog friendly it is here!   

It was a wonderful day in Oslo!  Here's to many more!!

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