What was your original face?

What was your original face?

Stone circle in Steinkjer

Prehistoric NorwayPosted by Vidar Thu, May 24, 2007 21:12:37
Placed in the garden of the Tingvoll Park Hotell in Steinkjer the remains of this stone circle consists of 38 stones (of originally probably 45).
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It's 9 meters at the widest, and must originally have been about 40 meters long.

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The area once sported other stone circles, 3 standing stones and several burialmounds according to a map drawn in 1816 by L.D. Klüwer (published in Klüwers Norsk mindesmerker 1823, and in the 2 works mentioned under).
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The stones painted by Jac. Pedersen in 1821:

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Fornminner og oldsaker i Steinkjer kommune
/ Gunnar Groven
Steinkjer : Steinkjer kommune, 1992. - 36 s.

Det var en gang : funn og fornminner i Egge

Steinkjer : Egge historielag, 1992. - 83 s.

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Der Unauffindbare Einsiedler and other hard-to-get books.

Chinese literaturePosted by Vidar Sat, April 14, 2007 12:14:40
There are some books borrowed from libraries and friends, that you find you would like a copy of later on. I've got 3 or 4 such titles. One was Paul Demieville's L'oeuvre de Wang le zêlateur that I found in a french online bookstore a couple of years ago. (They still have copies for those interested.)

For several years I've tried to locate a copy of Goatkoei Lang-Tans thesis Der unaffindbare Einsiedler from 1985. Even wrote him at one time, didn't recieve an answer though. But today in our mailbox it finally arrived through Amazon.de and the original publisher Haag + Herchen.

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The title translates into The hard to find recluse or The not at home hermit if you like. The Looking for a recluse but failing to find him-theme is well known in chinese poetry, and the author writes about its use in T'ang dynasty poetry. It's a typically academic book, about half is footnotes.

Not sure if I'll read it again, probably should since it's about 20 years ago, its thinner than I remembered so we'll see, but its good to have!

I'm still looking for A.R. Davis' 2 volumes Tao-Yüan-ming (AD 365-427) : his works and their meaning (1983). There are copies available, but the prices are a bit beyond me? Hm?

Hm indeed. Found one described as "the first edition, not a funny reprint, in excellent condition, never used, perfect set" for 84 £. What the heck. Ordered from Plurabelle books via Bookfinder.com.

Update. From Plurabelle books 13 april: "Many apologies, This set is no longer available. "


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Kyozan Joshu Sasaki, 100 years!

BuddhismPosted by Vidar Sun, April 01, 2007 13:43:05
Today, 1 april 2007, is the hundreth birthday of Kyozan Joshu Sasaki.

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S R O S H I !

Roshi has taught in the west since 1962, he visited Europe up 'till about 1990.

He came to Norway in 1984 and 1986. Heres a photo from the 1986 sesshin:

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Photo: Truls T.

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Patrik Fitzgeralds "Poems"

MusicPosted by Vidar Mon, March 12, 2007 20:01:49
Through Abebooks I found Patrik Fitzgeralds 24 page "Poems" from 1979. It cost 75p when it came out, £ 20 today. Fair enough.

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Some of the poems in this book were used on later albums. When this booklet came out only the 3 ep´s on Small Wonder had been issued.

Here´s Patrik with a fetching hat:

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The content:

THAP (a short intro on Tower Hamlets Arts Project and PF)
The crass introduction (short introduction from PF)
Make it safe
Underground (a short 1 page prose-text)
A quite life
The Alien in Tottenham Court Road
Do something constructive
Boots and black gloves (police)
The pigs at gigs (bouncers)
Behind my curtain
Jarvis (another short prose-piece)
All the splattered children
The paranoid ward
I wandered lonely
Your claustrophobia
Nothing to do
The other man they called 'the ripper' (another short prose-piece)
Little image games

There's more on the book in punk77 feature on PF.

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Allan Ginsberg

CulturePosted by Vidar Thu, February 01, 2007 14:44:06
I´ve just read Bill Morgans biography on Allen Ginsberg: I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg. Morgan wrote Ginsbergs bibliography, and used Ginsbergs notebooks and extensive archives to write this biography. Through the notebooks we get Ginsbergs reactions and feelings, frustrations, sorrows and triumphs. There as a lot of frustration going on, mostly related to sex as he was homosexual with a leaning towards heterosexual men.

He was supportive towards his friends. Both in a good and bad way, Peter Orlovsky seemed to get too much of it, as Ginsberg took over his life. There´s a lot of both sex and drugs in Ginsbergs biography, even some rock´n´roll. But most of all it´s a book on a man that got things done.

In January 1983 Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Steven Taylor came to Oslo. They played a concert at Club 7 on sunday the 30th. I kept the ticket:

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The next day he signed books at the bookstore Tronsmo. So I went with my 2 books and got them signed:Blog Image

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As for the poetry I think he uses too many words. But then I´ve never been too keen on William Blake either ...

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Han-shan in The journey to the west?

Chinese literaturePosted by Vidar Mon, January 22, 2007 20:14:48

The illustrations below showing Hsuan-tsang recieving sutras, are taken from an 1614-edition of the 16th century chinese novel The journey to the west (西遊記). In the left panel are two figures that must be Han-shan and Shih-te.

Several years ago I read Arthur Waleys Monkey. I have long thought about reading a complete translation, and decided to go for Anthony C. Yu and his 4-volumes from Chicago University Press.

I have only just started on volume 1. There is no Han-shan in the index, so I will keep my eyes open for a scene like this:

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The picture as shown above is a composite of 2 pictures, taken from pages 236 and 237 in volume 2 of a collection of old book-illustrations.

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Vestfold prehistory

Prehistoric NorwayPosted by Vidar Sun, January 07, 2007 17:15:35
The last few weeks I´ve been reading about archeology in Vestfold-county, starting with a classic title from 1943, Vestfolds oldtidsminner (i.e. Prehistoric relics in Vestfold). Over 752 pages this book lists locatations and finds. Started to read with an intention of making a list of stone-circles and single stones. And that I did, but what made the strongest impression was the richness of burial-mounds that once existed in Vestfold. The editor, Sigurd Grieg, sums it up at about 3300 mounds! (Vestfold is ca two thousand square-kilometers in size (a bit larger in 1943).)

Today, very much has been removed to make room for farming, the sand and stone in the mounds have been used for other purposes, such as fencing, building houses etc. An example is not far away. This photo is from one of the two bronze-age mounds a few hundred meters from our house:

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It´s a bit dark (taken on the afternoon of 1. january 2007). I turned around south and took this photo of our house (the white one in the middle of the picture):

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Christer Tonnings thesis "Gravfelt og landskap i Hedrum : en studie av jernalderplassene i Hedrum, Vestfold", cites a calculation that of the 900 mounds in Hedrum municipality (now part of Larvik) there were 280 left (estimate made in 1991, cited on page 11). There were 28 large and small burial-sites, today there are 7 left.

The character that make the strongest impact in both these titles is Nicolay Nicolaysen (1817-1911), the first (employed) antiquarian in Norway, a post he held from 1860 till 1899. He has an impressive record in excavating, estimated to 2000 mounds (Tonning p. 20). The most famous being the Gokstad-mound in Sandefjord.

One of Tonnings goals in his thesis is using Nicolaysens excavation-rapports to locate mounds on 3 sites, now with only remains left, in Hedrum.

This gives him opportunity to reflect on how Nicolaysen excavated, with at speed that seems reckless by todays standard, but if he hadn´t digged we probably would have lost much (as the figure for remaining mounds shows).

Of things lost is also the main impression in my mind after reading through Vestfolds oldtidsminner. We must be grateful for what is still here though. And most excitingly that there still appears sites that no-one knew about. Often in connection with roadbuilding: E-18 prosjektet (Vestfold), E-6 prosjektet (Østfold ) and Svinesund (Østfold).

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Mori Ogai (1862-1922)

Chinese literaturePosted by Vidar Sat, December 30, 2006 15:02:09

I have just read The historical fiction of Mori Ogai (University of Hawai'i, 1991).
It contains a retelling of the preface to Han-shans poems that were quite good.

Of interest is also the story on T'ang dynasty poetess Yü Hsüan-chi.

Most of the stories in this book takes their motives from japanese history though.
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Labyrinths in Norway

Prehistoric NorwayPosted by Vidar Mon, December 04, 2006 19:25:03

I got some questions (off-page) about the labyrinth in Fröjel. There are a few more on Gotland, among them one in Bunge that we visited in 2004. But instead of writing more on Swedish labyrinths, I decided to find out more on the Norwegian ones. I already knew of one on the small island of Tisler in the Hvaler archipelago, but more on that further down.

The Norsk arkeologisk leksikon, 2006 (title translates as Norwegian Arceological Handbook) says that labyrinths as a symbol is known from petroglyphs (norwegian helleristninger), in churches from the Middle Ages and as stonesettings.

In Norway they are most common in Finnmark, as part of a larger cultural area including Kola and the White Sea in Russia. They are usually situated close to graves and it is assumed that they were used in passage rites.

In southern Norway, several petroglyphs with a labyrinth-motive is found. Labyrinth-stonesettings are found in Sunnmøre, along the Oslofiord and southwards along the Swedish Bohuslän-coast. Labyrinths are sometimes called Trojaborg or truberborg.(All the above is taken from Norsk arkeologisk leksikon page 233.)

On Sunnmøre there's one stone-labyrinth known as den Julianske borg (the Julian castle) on Vartdalsfjellet (Grøthornet) in Ørsta.

In my local area I only know of one stone-labyrinth. It's on the (very) small island Tisler, on the east side of the Oslo-fiord. Only parts of it is still there (there's traces of another close by). It may be as old as 3000 years, but that is guesswork. Tisler is not easily accessible, it is only possible by boat in (preferably) good weather. The labyrinth lies on the north-east part of the island on a small hill called Slottsfjellet (eng. Castle Hill). I have never been to Tisler, even though I have spent many summers on an island not very far away. Morten Kiellands report on the proposed national park in Hvaler and Fredrikstad has a picture of the trojaborg:

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Of the several located in Finnmark (the northernmost county in Norway), I have only been able to find information on four, one on each of the islands Holmengrå and Kjeøya. According to Samitour there are labyrinths at the mouth of the Tana River and one in Magerøysundet as well.

The name truberborg seems to be taken from a (now lost?) labyrinth on Østerøya in Sandefjord. The place is called Truberodden (Truber Head or Point). I had not heard about Truberodden before starting looking into labyrinths, as it is not far from where I live I definitely will take a look soon.

According to the Bergkonst-site Norsk arkeologisk leksikon is wrong when it says that there are petroglyph-labyrints. A petroglyph from Tanum, Sweden (from the link above) has labyrinth-looking motives:

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19 locations for norwegian labyrinths

28 locations on the swedish west coast

Rock carvings in the borderland

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Gotland 5 Oct 2006

GotlandPosted by Vidar Thu, November 16, 2006 13:59:17
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The weather! On all our days we had everything from rain & thunder to sunshine. This is from a hill outside Katthammarsvik.

We were on our way to Trullhalsar (Anga), an area with about 350 graves and several stone circles (according to the book).

After some messing around on small roads we found it:

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It's a secluded spot. 2,5 kilometers from the nearest farm in fairly dense woods.

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The first glimpse of a stone circle.

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One of the stone circles.

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A single stone.

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Then we went to Roma kloster, the only tourist attraction that still had a shop open. The cloister ruins were nice, but here's a picture from down a road there:

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We visited more sites, among them another viking-age settlement, Fjäle ödegård (Ala), that is highly recommended.

Since there are 350 stone ship-settings on Gotland, we have to go again! And I guess we will ...

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