Efter den självbiografiska romanen Inferno 1897 författade Strindberg på hösten samma år fortsättningen Legender. Den tillkom i Paris och skrevs till största delen på franska. Vid författandet byggde Strindberg på sina anteckningar i Ockulta Dagboken.
In Miss Julie, a willful young aristocrat, whose perverse nature has already driven her fiancé to break off their engagement, pursues and effectively seduces her father's valet during the course of a Midsummer's Eve celebration. The progress of that seduction and the play's stunning denouement shocked Swedish audiences who first attended the play in 1889. Despite its controversial debut, this now-classic drama, inspired by the new ideas of naturalism and psychology that swept Europe in the late 19th century, helped to shape modern theater, and remains one of the most potent-and most frequently performed-of modern plays. The full text of Miss Julie is reprinted here as translated by Edwin Björkman, complete with Strindberg's critical preface to the play, considered by many to be one of the most important manifestos in theater history.
Swedish writer August Strinberg played a major role in introducing a more modernist sensibility into his native country's literature, producing several major novels and plays that are still regarded as some of the most significant works of twentieth-century Swedish literature. The Road to Damascus is a dramatic trilogy that broke new ground in stagecraft and characterization, touching on complex themes of spirituality and selfhood in the process.
The republication of The Confession of a Fool represents the last link in the chain of Strindberg's autobiographical novels. A German version of the book was published as far back as 1893, but it was mutilated, abbreviated, corrupted, and falsified to such an extent that the attorney-general, misled by the revolting language, blamed the author for the misdeeds of the translator and prohibited the sale of the book. This was a splendid advertisement for this profound work, but there were many who would have rejoiced if the translation had been completely ignored. It distorted Strindberg's character and was the cause of many prejudices which exist to this day. Schering's new translation is an attempt to make reparation for this crime. "It is impossible," he says, "that any attorney-general can now doubt the high morality of this book." Strindberg himself has called it a terrible book, and has regretted that he ever wrote it. He has never published it in Swedish, his own language, because not only is it too personal in character, but it also revealed a still bleeding wound. It contains the relentless description of his first marriage, so superbly candid an account, that one is reminded of the last testament of a man for whom death has no longer any terror. We know from his fascinating novel Separated, how painful the burden was which he had to bear, and how terribly he suffered during the period of his first marriage. So much so, indeed, that he had to write this book before he could face the thought of death with composure. Doubtless, a man for whom life holds no longer any charm would give us a genuinely truthful account of his inner life, and there is no denying that a book which takes its entire matter from the inner life is of vastly greater importance and on an immeasurably higher level than a million novels, be they written ever so well. The great importance of The Confession of a Fool lies in the fact that it depicts the struggle of a highly intellectual man to free himself from the slavery of sexuality, and from a woman who is a typical representative of her sex.
Swedish playwright and novelist August Strindberg led a remarkable life, oscillating from periods of institutionalization to an intense study of the occult and then back to working his creative magic as a producer of some of the most indelibly original plays of the twentieth century. The Son of a Servant is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel that draws heavily on the author's own life experiences.
Never one to shy away from incendiary topics or controversial stances, Swedish writer August Strindberg tackles a series of tough issues in the engaging short stories collected in Married. Strindberg's life-like characters grapple with and debate issues ranging from racial discrimination to the education of women.
The quarantine doctor was a man of five-and-sixty, well-preserved, short, slim and elastic, with a military bearing which recalled the fact that he had served in the Army Medical Corps. From birth he belonged to the eccentrics who feel uncomfortable in life and are never at home in it. Born in a mining district, of well-to-do but stern parents, he had no pleasant recollections of his childhood. His father and mother never spoke kindly, even when there was occasion to do so, but always harshly, with or without cause. His mother was one of those strange characters who get angry about nothing. Her anger arose without visible cause, so that her son sometimes thought she was not right in her head, and sometimes that she was deaf and could not hear properly, for occasionally her response to an act of kindness was a box on the ears. Therefore the boy became mistrustful towards people in general, for the only natural bond which should have united him to humanity with tenderness, was broken, and everything in life assumed a hostile appearance. Accordingly, though he did not show it, he was always in a posture of defence. At school he had friends, but since he did not know how sincerely he wished them well, he became submissive, and made all kinds of concessions in order to preserve his faith in real friendship. By so doing he let his friends encroach so much that they oppressed him and began to tyrannise over him. When matters came to this point, he went his own way without giving any explanations. But he soon found a new friend with whom the same story was repeated from beginning to end. The result was that later in life he only sought for acquaintances, and grew accustomed to rely only upon himself. When he was confirmed, and felt mature and responsible through being declared ecclesiastically of age, an event happened which proved a turning-point in his life. He came home too late for a meal and his mother received him with a shower of blows from a stick. Without thinking, the young man raised his hand, and gave her a box on the ear. For a moment mother and son confronted each other, he expecting the roof to fall in or that he would be struck dead in some miraculous way. But nothing happened. His mother went out as though nothing had occurred, and behaved afterwards as though nothing unusual had taken place between them.
For readers who are familiar with Swedish writer August Strindberg's early, groundbreaking works for the stage, the dreamy magical realism of the short story collection In Midsummer Days will likely come as a surprise. These tales veer sharply away from the unflinching realism that came to be associated with Strindberg in the early twentieth century. Nonetheless, though they represent a dramatic shift in style, the tales in this collection are sure to engage and enchant.
The Father; A Dream Play; Miss Julie; The Ghost Sonata; The Dance of Death `Ibsen can sit serenely in his Doll's House,' Sean O'Casey remarked, `while Strindberg is battling with his heaven and his hell.' Strindberg was one of the most extreme, and ultimately the most influential theatrical innovators of the late nineteenth century. The five plays translated here are those on which Strindberg's international reputation as a dramatist principally rests and this edition embraces his crucial transition from Naturalism to Modernism, from his two finest achievements as a psychological realist, The Father and Miss Julie, to the three plays in which he redefined the possibilities of European drama following his return to the theatre in 1898. Michael Robinson's highly performable translations are based on the authoritative texts of the new edition of Strindberg's collected works in Sweden and include the Preface to Miss Julie, Strindberg's manifesto of theatrical naturalism. Introduction Textual Note Bibliography Chronology Explanatory Notes ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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