[Scroll 45% from the top here] Studying Norway’s ragged coast, with its hundreds of thousands of islands, is like studying the country’s metaphorical DNA: it is unique, it is unendingly complex, it is the fingerprint of a nation. Staring out the window, I could not help but slip into a quasi-profound reverie: I began to contemplate the arbitrariness of islands, the phallic language of lighthouses, the band of sky-land-coast as a kind of naturalized EKG readout. I zoned out and zoned in and zoned out. When I came back to my senses, no one around me had moved. This protracted (and mediated) narrative pace mirrors a baffling trend currently taking place in Norwegian television called Slow TV. In 2009, the public television station NRK broadcast a six-hour, 22-minute uninterrupted train trip from Bergen to Oslo by mounting a camera on the front of the locomotive.

I looked up mediate but which entry fits? How can you figure this out? It looks hard.


This protracted (and mediated) narrative pace mirrors a baffling trend currently taking place in Norwegian television called Slow TV.

The first thing to notice is that mediated like protracted is describing "narrative pace", so it is being used as an adjective. On the page that you linked from Oxford Dictionaries, the only definition for mediate as an adjective is

Connected indirectly through another person or thing

That seems like an unusual way to describe a narrative pace until you read further and see an example of a trend that it is similar to what the author is describing, which is a show on Norwegian TV that is 6 hours of video from a camera mounted on a train. The thing that is indirectly controlling the narrative pace is the train.

It should be said that the view from the Hurtigruten is very slow. As in: very, very slow. Despite once being billed as the “coastal express,” the ferry actually travels at a maximum speed of around 15 knots, which is about the speed of a brisk bicycle ride.

The author of the article is on a sight seeing tour and sees the slow moving ship as the "mediator" of the narrative pace of his tour in the same way that the train controlled the pace of the video in the "Slow TV" trend. The "story" is told by the train or the ship moving through the environment, not by the author focusing on a few of many sights or experiences that would be available if his environment were changing more quickly. If the environment were changing more quickly, the author would set the pace of the story by choosing what to contemplate and for how long. On the slow moving ship, he doesn't have much choice because there aren't enough different things happening to choose among - he has time to contemplate everything as he passes by it.

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I believe this is meant as found here in definition 6:


  1. acting through, dependent on, or involving an intermediate agency; not direct or immediate.
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