August Strindberg’s naturalistic play Miss Julie (Miss Julia) was the premiere production of the Scandinavian Naturalistic Theatre. While initially censored for content, the play has since become one of the most successful naturalistic dramas written, and has been performed on stages around the world each year since its premiere in 1888. Miss Julie has also been adapted numerous times for film, most recently by Liv Ullman with Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell in the roles of Miss Julie and Jean.
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Seeing the heiress as the means to acquiring the inn he one day wishes to run, Jean both encourages Julie's affections and pushes her away before callously ending the affair when Julie's father, a count, returns home.
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This selection is particularly interesting in its depiction of the great range of Strindberg's moods and styles, from naturalism to expressionism, from ironic comedy to bitter tragedy. It displays his great gift for symbolic, mystical verse as well as his command of dramatic prose. In issues of sex and gender, Strindberg anticipated the modern temperament in society and drama alike.
These translations gave American readers their first opportunity to know the true genius of Strindberg. Most previous versions in English had been based on existing German translations. Elizabeth Sprigge's unique achievement was to render the original Swedish texts into English that is at once fluent and accurate and that captures the full vigor and impact of the original plays.
August Strindberg (1849-1912) was a Swedish writer and playwright and is credited and being one of the founders of modern theatre. His writings combined elements of psychology and naturalism. Some of his minor writings, not included in this book, include The Outlaw, Master Olaf, Pariah, The Comrades, and Among French Peasants.
Elizabeth Sprigge was educated in London and Ontario and was the author of a number of novels, biographies and children's books. She was co-founder of the famous avant-garde Watergate Theatre in London and lectured on literature and theatre in many parts of the world.