Just after Easter, we received the news that our colleague of many years, Professor Roy Eriksen, died on 22 April.
Roy was born on 8 October 1948 and grew up in Sarpsborg. Following a period as an academic assistant at the University of Oslo, he presented his thesis in 1984, on Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus. In 1986, he was appointed Professor of English Literature at the University of Tromsø. He spent the period from 1997 to 2000 as Professor of Renaissance Studies at the Norwegian Institute in Rome. He came to what is now the University of Agder in 2003, as Professor of English Renaissance Literature.
Roy’s primary area of expertise was within English Renaissance Literature, but he developed his field to encompass Italian Renaissance Literature, Art and Architectural History as well.
His contribution is both extensive and distinguished, nationally and internationally. In addition to monographs, he published a large number of articles about Renaissance literature, art and culture, as well as literary translations. He was the editor of several anthologies with contributions within the field of Renaissance studies.
In 2007, he was awarded the Sørlandet Knowledge Foundation’s research prize. His ability, wealth of ideas and drive as an initiator and coordinator of research programmes and symposia must also be emphasised. He attracted research fellows from both the literary sciences and art history, guided them into productive research environments and contributed with academic supervision. Many young researchers have a great deal for which to thank him.
It was never quiet and dull around Roy. Nothing could stop his tireless energy and spirit. He was complex and colourful, with his characteristically wry view on his surroundings, his aptitude for the comedy of existence, his sharp observations, and lively, sarcastic quips, softened by jovial, down-to-earth sociability. In the autumn, he had just had time to move in to his new emeritus office in order to continue his projects. Unfortunately, this was not to be.
Some of us have had you as a close friend for many years. You will be missed by many more. Our thoughts are with Berit, Frida, and Erik, and their families.
Tale M. Guldal and Oddvar Holmesland,
Department of Foreign Languages and Translation