Yesterday, I finally ”nailed” (spikade) my thesis. For those of you unaccoustomed to this Swedish custom, I have added a photo of the momentous event. The physical nailing of the thesis to a wall in a public place at the university is only a symbolic gesture nowadays. However, it does serve as a very concrete reminder that Swedish theses are made public for some weeks before the defence, to allow anyone who so wishes to examine them. The defence itself is also public, and although the main examiner is the faculty opponent, anyone in the audience is free to ask questions after that examination is over.
Nowadays, the one copy dangling from its nail (in my case in a staff room of the Centre for Languages and Literature in Lund) is probably the most difficult to get to. Instead, numerous copies have been delivered to various Swedish research libraries and English departments, soon accessible through the univeristy library system and interlibrary loan. Yet, the first copy of my book to be subjected to the exacting gaze of the public, I drove a nail through yesterday.
It was remarkably undramatic, in fact.