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August Strindberg

Born Johan August Strindberg
21 January 1849(1849-01-21)
Stockholm, Sweden
Died 14 May 1912 (aged 63)
Stockholm, Sweden
Occupation Playwright, author
Literary movement Naturalism
Expressionism
Signature

Johan August Strindberg (About this sound pronounced (22 January 1849 – 14 May 1912) was a Swedish playwright and writer. He is arguably the most influential of all Swedish authors and is considered to be the "father of modern literature" in Sweden.[1] He is one of the most influential Scandinavian authors, along with Knut Hamsun, Henrik Ibsen, Søren Kierkegaard, Hans Christian Andersen and Karen Blixen. Strindberg is known as one of the developers of modern theatre. His work is of two major literary styles, Naturalism and Expressionism.[2]

Contents

Biography

Early years

Strindberg was born on January 22, 1849 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was the third son of Carl Oscar Strindberg, a shipping agent and "bankrupt aristocrat"[3], and Ulrika Eleonora (Nora) Norling. Ulrika was twelve years Carl's junior and of humble origin, a "former waitress" [3] and called a "domestic servant woman" by Strindberg. He had two brothers before him, Carl Axel and Oscar, who were also born before the parents were married. After Johan came Olof, and three daughters, Anna, Elizabeth, and Eleonora.[1] He used this expression in the title of his autobiographical novel, Tjänstekvinnans son (The Son of a Servant) which describes a childhood affected by "emotional insecurity, poverty, religious fanaticism and neglect" [3]. Strindberg's own version of his childhood is available in The Son of a Servant, but at least one of his biographers, Olof Lagercrantz, warns against its use as a biographical source. Much of what Strindberg wrote has an autobiographical character, but Lagercrantz notes Strindberg's "talent to make us believe what he wants us to believe", and his unwillingness to accept any characterization of his person other than his own.

Strindberg's paternal grandfather Zacharias was born during 1758 to a clergyman in Jämtland and settled in Stockholm, where he became a successful spice tradesman and a major of the Burghers' Military Corps. Strindberg's aunt Johanna Magdalena Elisabeth Strindberg (1797–1880), also called "Lisette", was married to the inventor and industrialist Samuel Owen (born 1774 in Norton-in-Hales, Shropshire, England, died February 15, 1854 in Stockholm) who went to Sweden during 1804 to help with the installation of the first steam engines for industrial use in Sweden and later during 1806 set up his own workshop 'Kungsholms Mekaniska Verkstad' in Stockholm. Carl Oscar Strindberg's older brother Johan Ludvig Strindberg was a successful businessman, the model for the protagonist Arvid Falk's wealthy and socially ambitious uncle in Strindberg's novel Röda rummet (The Red Room).

From the age of seven, Strindberg matured in the Norrtull area on the northern, almost-rural periphery of Stockholm, not far from Tegnérlunden, the park where Carl Eldh's grand statue of Strindberg was later placed. He went to the elementary schools of Klara and Jakob parishes, continuing to the Stockholms Lyceum, a progressive private school for middle-class boys.

When he was thirteen, his mother died of lung tuberculosis. This tragic event would affect him and his later works. Less than a year after Nora's death, his father married the children's governess, Emilia Charlotta Pettersson, which only caused more internal strain in the family.[1]

He completed his graduation exam studentexamen on May 25, 1867, and matriculated at the University of Uppsala in the autumn.

Career

Strindberg as a young man

Strindberg would spend the next few years in Uppsala and Stockholm, alternately studying for exams and trying his hand at non-academic pursuits. As a young student, Strindberg also worked as an assistant in a chemist's shop in the university town of Lund in southern Sweden. He supported himself in between his studies as a substitute primary-school teacher and as a tutor for the children of two well-known physicians in Stockholm.[1] He first left Uppsala in 1868 to work as a schoolteacher, but then studied chemistry for some time at the Institute of Technology in Stockholm in preparation for medical studies, later working as a private tutor before becoming an extra at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm. In May 1869, he failed failed his qualifying chemistry exam which in turn made him uninterested in schooling. He returned to Uppsala during January 1870 to study and work on a set of plays, the first to be produced which began at the Royal Theatre during September 1870, a biography of the Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, which was the play I Rom (In Rome, 1870). In Uppsala, he started Runa, a small literary club with friends who all took pseudonyms from Nordic mythology; Strindberg called himself Frö after the god of fertility. He spent a few more semesters in Uppsala, finally leaving in March 1872 without graduating. He would often ridicule Uppsala and its professors, as when he published Från Fjerdingen och Svartbäcken ("From Fjerdingen and Svartbäcken", 1877), a collection of short stories describing Uppsala student life. After leaving university for the last time, he embarked on his career as a journalist and critic for newspapers in Stockholm.

Another photo of Strindberg in his youth

He wrote I Rom (In Rome) followed by Den fredlöse (The Outlaw), set in Iceland and inspired by his time in Runa. The play would go on to win Strindberg a stipend for a short time from the Swedish king. Although he was still unknown, he moved to Kymmendö, which would be the setting for his novel Hemsöborna. While on the island, he also completed Mäster Olof, about the life of Olaus Petri. The play was rejected by the Royal Dramatic Theatre and so began decades of rewriting combined with a bitterness and contempt for official institutions [3]. He then shifted his writing to that of his guide, William Shakespeare, and used colloquial and realistic speech in his historical dramas, which went against the long held belief that they should be written in stately poetic language. He broke ground with new moral and psychological principles from reading works of Thomas Buckle, Georg Brandes, and American theologist Thomas Parker.

1870s

In 1874 Strindberg obtained a job at the Royal Library as a librarian [3]. The curator, Gustaf Edward Klemming, approved the hiring despite the fact he did not finish schooling. Due to the position, he was able to print out business cards and hand them out to people. He would work at the library for eight years.[1] In the 1870s, a group of young artists including Strindberg would meet at the red room of Berns Salonger. This would be where he met his first wife (who was married at the time) baroness Siri von Essen. After their marriage in 1877, Strindberg buckled down and wrote Röda rummet (The Red Room) a satire of Stockholm society and its phonyness [3]. This book quickly made Strindberg famous across Sweden.[4]

1880s

Then in the 1880s, he wrote Swedish Destinies and Adventures, which was originally entitled The Chronicle of the People, was a two volume Survey article on the cultural history of Sweden. He was pointing out that the history of Sweden was merely the history of the Kings of Sweden. After being heavily criticized, he wrote Det nya riket (The New Kingdom) in 1882 to fire back at the contemporary social and political establishment. Some people believe this led him to leave Sweden. He first moved to Grez par Namours, just south of Paris, France, where his friend Carl Larsson was staying. He then moved to Paris, which they found noisy and polluted. After he made money from his play Lycko-Pers resa (Lucky Pehr, 1882), he moved his family to Switzerland in 1883. They resided in Ouchy and made a family residence, and stayed there for years. Here is where Siri and August had their son Hans, born April 3, 1884 and they also resided in twenty different places. In 1885, they moved back to Paris. In 1887, they moved to Issigatsbühl, near Lindau by Lake Constance.

After Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House (1879) and Bjornstjerne Bjornson's play En handske (A Glove or A Gauntlet) (1883) had dealt with women's rights, Strindberg wrote Married which presented women in an egalitarian light. For this play, he was tried for blasphemy in Sweden. Even though he was acquitted, he believed there was a conspiracy of feminists against him, and even believed the Queen was behind it. In 1885 he republished Married and this time he made marriage a mental and emotional extortion, in which the women always had the upper hand. After Enhandske, he would write for another three years, until Marodörer (Marauders) in 1886. This play was his first in a contemperory, modern setting. His new found writing material with plays dealing with themes related to marriage and the emancipation of women, like Anne Charlotte Leffler's Sanna qvinnor (True Women, 1883) and Alfhild Agrell's Räddad (Saved, 1883) and Dömd (Condemned, 1884). Also in 1883, he made himself very familiar with Émile Zola's manifesto Le Naturalisme au theatre from Le Roman Experimental (1880). Zola assured Strindberg that theatre could be used for a powerful medium for debate and propaganda.[5]

His misogyny would be present in a lot of his future works: Fadren (The Father), 1887), Fröken Julie (Miss Julie, 1888), Fordringsägare (The Creditor, 1888), Dödsdansen (The Dance of Death, 1901–05), Spöksonaten (The Ghost Sonata, 1907), and Pelikanen (The Pelican, 1907).

He wrote an infuriating essay Det nya riket (The New Kingdom, 1882), attacking the Swedish establishment and even satirizing The Royal Theatre. He criticized them for putting on cheap French farces or melodramas and living up the national educational institution that it was regarded as in public circles. His play Herr Bengt's hustru (Sir Bengt's Wife, 1882), is thought to have been Strindberg's medieval response to Ibsen's A Doll's House.[6]

After the trial he evaluated his religious beliefs, he concluded he need to leave Lutheranism, which he had been since childhood, and after briefly being a deist, he became an atheist. He needed a credo and he used Jean-Jacques Rousseau nature worshiping as one, which he had studied while a student. His works Hemsöborna (Natives of Hemsö, 1887) and Bland franska bonder (Among French Peasants, 1889) were influenced by his study of Rousseau. He then moved to Germany, where he fell in love with Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's Prussia status of the officer corps. After that, he grew very critical of Rousseau and turned to Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophies, which emphasized the male intellect. Nietzsche's influence can be seen in Le Plaidoyer d'un fou (The Confession of a Fool, 1888), Tschandala (1888), Paria (Pariah, 1889), Fordringsägare (The Creditor, 1889), and I hafsbandet (On the Seaboard, 1890).

Another change in his life after the trial is that Strindberg decided he would rather have a scientific life instead of a literary one, and he began to write about nonliterary subjects. When he was 37, he decided to write Tjänstekvinnans son (The Son of a Servant), a four-part autobiography. The first part ends in 1867, the year he left home for Uppsala. Part two describes his youth up to 1872. Part three, or The Red Room, is when he is a poet and journalist and it ends with him meeting Siri von Essen. Part four, which dealt with the years spanning from 1877 to 1886, was banned by his publishers and was not published til after his death. The three years missing, 1875–1877, was the time Strindberg was wooing von Essen and their marriage, this was another not printed til after his death entitled Han och Hon (He and She, 1919). This work contains the love letters between the two during that span.

In the later half of the 1880s was when Strindberg had discovered naturalism. After completing The Father (play) in matter of weeks, he sent a copy to Emile Zola for his approval, and his reaction was lukewarm. The plot deals with a husband's struggle to survive regardless of the shemes of his ignorant, devious wife. The drama revolves around the conflict between the Captain, a father, husband, and scientist, and his wife, Laura, over the education of their only child, a fourteen-year-old daughter named Berta. Through unscrupulous means, Laura gets the Captain to doubt his fatherhood until he suffers a mental and physical collapse.

While writing The Father, Stringberg himself was having marital problems and doubting the paternity of his children. He had suspected that Ibsen wrote Hjalmar Ekdal in The Wild Duck after Strindberg because he felt Ibsen viewed him as a pathetic, wimpy husband. Strindberg however took his situation and made it into a sexual warfare between the two sexes.

From November 1887 to April 1889, Stindberg went and stayed in Copenhagen. While there he had several oppurtunites to meet with both Georg Brandes and his brother Edvard Brandes. Georg helped him put on The Father at the Casinoteatret in Copenhagen in November 1887. After a successful run for eleven days and a favorable review from Georg in the Politiken.[5]

Before writing Creditors, Strindberg completed one of his most famous pieces Miss Julie. He wrote the play with a parisian stage in mind, in particular the Théâtre Libre, started in 1887 by Andre Antoine. In the play he used Charles Darwin's theory of Survival of the fittest and love breaking through social classes. Stringberg being the "son of a servant", it is believed this play was inspired by his marriage to an aristocratic woman.

In the essay Om sjaelamord (On Psychic Murder, 1887), he referred to the psychological theories of the Nancy School, which advocated the use of hypnosis. Stringberg developed a theory that sexual warfare was not motivated by carnal desire, but by relentless human will. The winner was one the one who had the strongest and most unscrupulous mind, someone who, like a hypnotist, could coerce a more impressionable psyche to its obliteration. His view on psychological power struggles can be seen in works like Fordringsägare (The Creditor, 1889), Den starkare (The Stronger, 1889), and Paria (Pariah, 1889).

In 1888, after a separation and reconciliation with Siri von Essen, he founded the Scandinavian Experimental Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, where Siri was set to become manager. He asked writers to send him scripts Herman Bang, Gustav Wied and Nathalia Larsen, and he said it the scripts he was sent taught him a lot. Less than a year later, with the theatre and reconciliation short lived, he moved back to his Sweden while Siri moved back to her native Finland with the children. While in Sweden, he would ride out the final phase of the divorce and would later use this agonizing ordeal for the basis of Bandet (The Bond and the Link, 1893).[5]

Strindberg also became interested in extremely short theatre, called Quart d'heure. He was inspired by writers such as Gustave Guiche and Henri de Lavedan. His notable contribution was Den starkare (The Stronger, 1889).[5]

For about three years after there was a hiatus as a playwright because of the failed Scandinavian Experimental Theatre. In 1889, he published an essay entitled Om modern drama och modern teater ("On Modern Drama and the Modern Theatre"), he disassociated himself with naturalism, saying it was petty and unimaginative realism. His belief in Nietzsche and atheism was also on the wane, and this is the Inferno Period, where he had psychological and religious upheavals that would later influence his works.[4]

1890s

Portrait by Edvard Munch (1892)

After his disenchantment with naturalism, he had a growing interest in transcendental matters. Symbolism was just beginning at this time, and after Verner von Heidenstam and Ola Hanson had criticized naturalism as being "shoemaker realism" for having simplistic rendering of human experiences. This is believed to have stalled his creativity, and Strindberg insisted he was in a rivalry and forced to defend naturalism, even though he had exhausted its literary potential. These works include Debit och kredit (Debit and Credit, 1892), Inför döden (Facing Death, 1892), Moderskärlek (Motherlove, 1892), and Första varningen (The First Warning, 1893). His play Himmelrikets nycklar (The Keys of Heaven, 1892) was a play inspired by the loss of his children through his divorce. He also completed one of his few comedies, Leka med elden (Playing with Fire, 1893). He would also complete his post-inferno trilogy Till Damaskus (The Road to Damascus, 1898–1904).

In 1892, he had a writing block, and since he relied on the income from it, he drastically got less income. This led to depression for being unable to meet his financial obligations and to support his children and former wife. His situation was well known to his friends, a fund was set up through an appeal in a German magazine. This money allowed him to leave Sweden, and he would join some circles in Berlin, Germany. Die Freie Bühne is where he premiered some of his famous works in Germany, including The Father, Miss Julie and Creditors.

Similar to twenty years earlier when he would frequent The Red Room, he now went to the German tavern The Black Porker. Here he would meet a diverse group of artists from Scandinavia, Poland, and Germany. His attention turned to Frida Uhl, who was twenty-three years younger than him, but it proved of no relevance because they were married in 1893. Less than a year later, they had their daughter Kerstin, and also the couple would separate. Their marriage would not officially dissolve until 1897. But something that would change Strindberg was Frida's family, in particular her mother, who was a devout Catholic, and in an 1894 letter he declared "I feel the hand of our Lord resting over me".

It also believed he dealt with some psychic crises, which is still under debate. Some critics think he suffered from severe paranoia in the mid 1890s, and some even say he went temporarily insane. Others, including Evert Sprinchorn and Olof Lagercrantz believed he intentionally turned himself into his own guinea pig by doing psychological and drug-induced self-experimentation. He wrote on subjects such as botany, chemistry, and optics before returning to literature with the publication of his edited journals ,Legender and Jakob brottas (Legends and Jacob Wrestling, both 1898), where he noted the impact Emanuel Swedenborg had on his current work.

The Powers were central to the plot of Strindberg's later work. He said The Powers were an outside force which had caused him his physical and mental suffering because they were acting for retribution to humankind for their wrongdoings. Similar to William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Honoré de Balzac, and William Butler Yeats, they all were drawn to Swedenborg's mystical visions, with their depictions of spiritual landscape and Christian morality. Strindberg believed for the rest of his life that the relationship between the transcendental and the real world as a series of "correspondences", and that the everyday happening were really messages from above and only the enlightened could make sense of them. He also felt he was chosen by Providence to atone for the moral decay of others, and felt his tribulations were payback for misdeeds earlier in his life.

In 1899, he would return to Sweden. His reason to return stemmed from a successful production of Master Olaf in 1897, and was staged in 1899 to mark Strindberg's fiftieth birthday. He had the desire to become the national poet and he felt the way to attain that status would be to write historical dramas. His writing went back to the old days as well, as he regarded dramatic opputunity as more important than facts, as he had no disregard to alter past events, telescope chronology, and even biographical information, although Strindberg claimed he was writing "realistically". Works included the so called Vasa Trilogy: Folkungasagan (The Saga of the Folkungs, 1899), Gustaf Vasa (Gustavus Vasa, 1899), and Erik XIV (1899).[4]

1900s

A portrait of August Strindberg by Richard Bergh (1905).

He also was pivotal in the creation of chamber plays. Max Reinhardt was a big supporter of his, and even put up his plays at his newly established 366 capacity Kleines Theater in 1902, including The Bond, The Stronger, and The Outlaw. Once Otto Brahm relinquished his role as head as of the Deutsches Theater, Reinhardt took over and produced Strindberg's plays. Reinhardt was soon the leader of another auditorium, the Kammerspiele.[5]

In 1903, he planned to write a grand cycle of plays based on world history, but the idea soon faded. He had completed short plays about Martin Luther, Plato, Moses, Jesus Christ, and Socrates. He wrote another historical drama in 1908 after the Royal Dramatic Theatre convinced him to put on a new play for its sixtieth birthday. He wrote Sista riddaren (The Last of the Knights, 1908), Bjaelbo-Jarlen (Earl Birger of Bjalbo, 1909), and Riksföreståndaren (The Regents, 1909) as a result of this.

His other works like Ensam (Days of Loneliness, 1903), Taklagsoel (The Roofing Ceremony, 1907), and Syndabocken (The Scapegoat, 1907), and novels like Goetiska rummen (The Gothic Rooms, 1904) and Svarta fanor (Black Banners, 1907) were seen as precursors to Marcel Proust and Franz Kafka.[4]

August Falck, an actor, wanted to put on a production of Miss Julie and wrote to him for permission. In September 1906 he put on the first Swedish production of Miss Julie. August Palme, Strindberg's friend, played Jean and Manda Bjorling played Julie.

In 1909, Strindberg thought he might get the Nobel Peace Prize, but instead lost to Selma Lagerlöf, the first woman and first Swede to win the award. The leader of the Social Democrat Youth Alliance started a fund-raiser for a special award. Nathan Söderblom was noted as a donor, yet he was criticized by the conservative party. In total there was 45,000 Swedish crowns ($4,500) collected, by 20,000+ donors. Most of them were blue collar workers. This on top of Bonnier Group paying him 200,000 Swedish crowns for his complete works, he then invited his first three children to Stockholm. He divided this money into five shares, one for each child, one for Siri, and the other for himself. He had felt bad since he could not support them when they were born.

He would also be the founder of The Intimate Theatre in Stockholm in 1907. He made some rules for his theatre in a letter to August Falck: 1. No liquor. 2. No Sunday performances. 3. Short performances without intermissions. 4. No calls. 5. Only 160 seats in the auditorium. 6. No prompter. No orchestra, only music on stage. 7. The text will be sold at the box office and in the lobby. 8. Summer performances. Falck also helped to design the auditorium was decorated in a deep-green tone. The ceiling lighting was a yellow silk cover which created an effect of mild daylight. The floor was covered with a deep-green carpet, and the auditorium was decorated by six ultra modern' columns with elaborate up-to-date capitals. Instead of the usual restaurant Strindberg offered a lounge for the ladies and a smoking-room for the gentlemen. The stage was unusually small, only 6x9 meters.

The theatre ran into a financial difficulty in February 1908, and Falck had to borrow money from Prince Eugén, Duke of Närke. He would also attend the premiere of The Pelican.[5]

Later life and death

Strindberg in his later years

Ten days before August's death, for the first time one of his plays had reached the one-month anniversary of playing in the United States. The Father (play) had been playing at Berkeley Theatre in New York since April 9, 1912, and the theatre was also noted for having been the U.S. premiere venue of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts (play) in 1894.[7]

During Christmas 1911, Strindberg became sick with pneumonia, and he never recovered completely. At this time he also started to suffer from a stomach disease, presumably cancer. He died during May 1912 at the age of 63. Strindberg was interred in the Norra begravningsplatsen in Stockholm, and thousands of people followed his corpse during the funeral proceedings.

Legacy

Eugene O'Neill and Ingmar Bergman are two well known people who has cited him as an influence.[1]

Politics

The history of the Paris Commune during 1871 caused young Strindberg to develop the opinion that politics is a conflict between the upper- and lower classes. He was admired by many as a radical writer. He was a socialist (or perhaps more of an anarchist, which he himself claimed on at least one occasion[citation needed]). Strindberg's political opinions nevertheless changed considerably within this category over the years, and he was never primarily a political writer. Nor did he often campaign for any one issue, preferring instead to scorn his enemies manifesto-style— the military, the church, the monarchy, the politicians, the stingy publishers, the incompetent reviewers, the narrow-minded, the idiots —and he was not loyal to any party or ideology. Many of his works however had at least some politics and sometimes an abundance of it. They often displayed the conviction that life and the prevailing system was profoundly unjust and injurious to ordinary citizens.

The changing nature of his political positions is perhaps illustrable by the women's rights issue. Early on, Strindberg was sympathetic to women of 19th-century Sweden, calling for women's suffrage as early as 1884. However, during other periods he had wildly misogynistic opinions, calling for lawmakers to reconsider the emancipation of these "half-apes ... mad ... criminal, instinctively evil animals". This has become controversial in contemporary assessments of Strindberg, as have his antisemitic descriptions of Jews (and, in particular, Jewish enemies of his in Swedish cultural life) in some works (e.g. Det nya riket), particularly during the early 1880s. Strindberg's antisemitic pronouncements, just like his opinions of women, have been debated, and also seem to have varied considerably. Many of these attitudes, passions and behaviours may have been developed for literary reasons and ended as soon as he had exploited them in books.[8]

In satirizing Swedish society—in particular the upper classes, the cultural and political establishment, and his many personal and professional foes—he could be very confrontational, with scarcely-concealed caricatures of political opponents. This could take the form of brutal character disparagement or mockery, and while the presentation was generally skilful, it was not necessarily subtle.

His daughter Karin Strindberg married a Russian Bolshevik of partially Swedish ancestry Vladimir Martynovich Smirnov ("Paulsson").[9] Because of his political views, Strindberg was promoted strongly in socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in the Soviet Union and Cuba.[citation needed]

Writing

Michael Chekhov as Erik in the MAT First Studio's 1921 production of Strindberg's Erik XIV (1899).

A multi-faceted author, Strindberg was often extreme. His novel The Red Room (Röda rummet) (1879) made him famous. His early plays were written in the Naturalistic style. His works from this time are often compared with the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Strindberg's best-known play from this period is Miss Julie (Fröken Julie). His most popular and maybe his best novel is Natives of Hemsö (Hemsöborna).

Strindberg wanted to attain what he called "Greater Naturalism." He did not prefer expository character backgrounds seen in the work of Ibsen, or write plays that gave his audiences a "slice of life" because he felt that these plays were mundane and uninteresting. Strindberg felt that true naturalism was a psychological battle of brains (hjärnornas kamp). Two people who hate each other in the immediate moment and strive to drive the other to doom is the type of mental hostility that Strindberg strove to describe. Furthermore, he intended his plays to be impartial and objective, citing a desire to make literature somewhat of a science.

Later, he had a time of inner turmoil known as the "Inferno Period", which culminated in the production of a book written in French, Inferno (1896-7). He also exchanged a few cryptic letters with Nietzsche.

Strindberg subsequently ended his association with Naturalism and began to produce works informed by Symbolism. He is considered one of the pioneers of the Modern European stage and Expressionism. The Dance of Death (Dödsdansen), A Dream Play (Ett drömspel) and The Ghost Sonata (Spöksonaten) are well-known plays from this period.

Other interests

Strindberg, something of a polymath, was also a telegrapher, theosophist, painter, photographer and alchemist.

Painting and photography offered vehicles for his belief that chance played a crucial part in the creative process.[10] Strindberg's paintings were unique for their time, and went beyond those of his contemporaries for their radical lack of adherence to visual reality. The 117 paintings that are acknowledged as his, were mostly painted within the span of a few years, and are now seen by some as among the most original works of nineteenth century art.[11] Today, his best-known pieces are stormy, expressionist seascapes, selling at high prices in auction houses. Though Strindberg was friends with Edvard Munch and Paul Gauguin, and was thus familiar with modern trends, the spontaneous and subjective expressiveness of his landscapes and seascapes can be ascribed also to the fact that he painted only in periods of personal crisis. Anders Zorn also did a self-portrait.[12]

His interest in photography resulted, among other things, in a large number of arranged self-portraits in various environments, which now number among the best-known pictures of Strindberg.

Alchemy, occultism, Swedenborgianism, and various other eccentric interests were pursued by Strindberg with some intensity for periods of his life. In the curious autobiographical work Inferno—a paranoid and confusing tale of his years in Paris, written in French—he claims to have successfully performed alchemical experiments and cast black magic spells on his daughter.

Personal life

Strindberg was married three times, as follows:

  • Siri von Essen: married 1877–1891 (14 years), 2 daughters (Karin Smirnov, Greta), 1 son (Hans); and a daughter who died in infancy
  • Frida Uhl: married 1893-1895, (2 years) 1 daughter, Kerstin, and
  • Harriet Bosse: married 1901-1902(?) (2 years), 1 daughter, Anne-Marie.

Strindberg was age 28 and Siri was 27 at the time of their marriage. He was 44 and Frida was 21 when they married and he was 52 and Harriet was 23 when they married. Late during his life he met the young actress and painter Fanny Falkner (1890–1963) who was 41 years younger than Strindberg. She wrote a book which illuminates his last years[13], but the exact nature of their relationship is debated. He had a brief affair in Berlin with Dagny Juel before his marriage to Frida; it has been suggested that the news of her murder in 1901 was the reason he cancelled his honeymoon with his third wife, Harriet. He was also related to Nils Strindberg (a son of one of August's cousins).

Strindberg's relationships with women were troubled and have often been interpreted as misogynistic by contemporaries and modern readers. Most acknowledge, however, that he had uncommon insight into the hypocrisy of his society's gender roles and sexual morality. Marriage and families were being stressed in Strindberg's lifetime as Sweden industrialized and urbanized at a rapid pace. Problems of prostitution and poverty were debated among writers, critics and politicians. His early writing often dealt with the traditional roles of the sexes imposed by society, which he criticized as unjust.

Carl Eldh's grand statue of Strindberg in Tegnérlunden, Stockholm

Strindberg's last home was Blå tornet in central Stockholm, where he lived from 1908 until 1912. Now it is a museum.

Several statues and busts of him have been erected in Stockholm, the most prominent of which is Carl Eldh's, erected in 1942 in Tegnérlunden, a park next to the house where Strindberg lived the last years of his life.

Bibliography

Strindberg wrote 58 plays and an autobiography (9 volumes, A Soul's Advance, 1886–1903)

Drama

  • En namnsdagsgåva (A Namesday Gift), 1869
  • Fritänkaren (The Free Thinker), three-act, 1869
  • I Rom (In Rome), one-act 1870
  • Hermione, five act, 1871
  • The Outlaw, one-act, 1871
  • Mäster Olof, five-act, 1872
  • Gillets hemlighet (The Secret of the Guild), four-act, 1880
  • Anno fyrtiåtta (In the Year 1848), four-act, 1881
  • Lucky Peter's Travels, five-act, 1882
  • Herr Bengt's hustru ("Sir Bengt's Wife"), five-act, 1882
  • Marodörer (Marauders), 1886
  • The Father, a three-act tragedy, 1887
  • Hemsöborna, four-act adapted by Strindberg from his own novel Natives of Hemsö, 1887
  • Kamraterna (Comrades), with Axel Lundegard four-act adapted from Strindbergs Marodoerer, 1888
  • Fröken Julie (Miss Julie), a one-act naturalistic play, 1888
  • Fordringsägare (Creditors), an one-act tragicomedy, 1889
  • Den starkare (The Stronger), an one-act, 1889
  • Paria (Pariah), one-act play, 1889
  • Samum, one-act, 1890
  • Debit och kredit, one-act, 1892
  • Himmelrikets nycklar; eller, Sankte Per vandrar pa jorden ( The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven or St. Peter Wanders on Earth), five-act, 1892
  • Inför döden, one-act, 1892
  • Moderskärlek (Motherly Love), one-act play, 1892
  • Bandet (The Bond and the Link), one-act, 1893
  • Leka med elden, one-act, 1893
  • Första varningen (The First Warning), one-act play, 1893
  • Till Damaskus, första delen (To Damascus, I), seven scenes, 1898
  • Till Damaskus, andra delen (To Damascus, II), four-act, 1898
  • Advent: Ett mysterium (Advent), five-act, 1898
  • Vid högre rätt (At a Higher Court), 1899
Advent: Ett mysterium
Brott och brott (Crime for crime)
  • Gustav Vasa, five-act, 1899
  • Erik XIV, four-act, 1899
  • Folkungasagan (The Saga of the Folkungs), five-act, 1899
  • Gustaf Adolf, five-act, 1900
  • Påsk (Easter), a play in three acts, 1900
  • Engelbrekt, four-act, 1901
  • Midsommar (Midsummer), six tableaux, 1901
  • Kristina, four-act, 1901
  • Dödsdansen (The Dance of Death), Two part, two-act, 1901
  • Kronbruden (The Bridal Crown), six part, 1901
  • Svanevit, three-act, 1901
  • Ett drömspel (A Dream Play, fourteen scenes, 1901
  • Kaspers fet-tisdag (Casper's Shrove Tuesday), one-act, 1901
  • Carl XII, 1901
  • Gustav III, four-act, 1902
  • The World History Plays, 1903
Näktergalen i Wittenberg (The Nightingale of Wittenberg), five-act
Through Deserts to Ancestral Lands
Hellas
The Lamb and the Beast
  • Till Damaskus, tredje delen (To Damascus, III), four-act, 1904
  • The Chamber Plays, 1907
Oväder (The Storm) or (Storm Weather)
Brända tomten (The Burned Site) or (The Burned House)
Spöksonaten (The Ghost Sonata) or (Spook Sonata)
Pelikanen (The Pelican)
  • Abu Casems tofflor (Abu Casem's Slippers), 1908
  • Sista riddaren (The Last of the Knights), five-act, 1908
  • Bjaelbo-Jarlen (Earl Birger of Bjalbo), five-act, 1909
  • Riksföreståndaren (The Regents), five-act, 1909
  • Stora landsvägen (The Great Highway), verse, 1909
  • Svarta handsken (The Black Glove), five-act, 1909

Posthumous

  • The growth of a soul, translated by Claud Field, 1913
  • På gott och ont (Of Good and Evil), 1914
  • Genom öknar till arvland; eller, Moses (Through the Wilderness to the Promised Land; or, Moses) (Through Deserts to Ancestral Lands ), twenty-one tableaux, 1918
  • Hellas; eller, Sokrates (Hellas; or, Socrates) (Hellas ), nineteen tableaux, 1918
  • Lammet och vilddjuret; eller, Kristus (The Lamb and the Wild Beast; or, Christ) (The Lamb and the Beast ), fifteen tableaux, 1918
  • Toten-Insel (Isle of the Dead), one scene, 1918
  • Han och hon: En själs utvecklingshistoria (He and She: A soul's development history), 1919
  • Efterspelet (Epilogue), 1920
  • Strindbergs brev till Harriet Bosse: Natur och Kultur, Bokförlaget Natur och kultur, 1932
  • August Strindbergs och Ola Hanssons brevvåxling, 1938
  • Åttitalsnoveller (Stories of the eighties), 1959
  • Det sjunkande Hellas (Greece in Decline), three-act verse, 1960
  • Brev till min dotter Kerstin, letters, 1961
  • Ur ockulta dagboken, journals, 1963, edited by Torsten Eklund
  • Hövdingaminnen, illustrations by Otte Sköld, 1963

Adapted Works

  • Den starkare (1906), translated by Francis J. Ziegler as The Stronger in Poet Lore (V.17,n.1)
  • Svanevit (1909), translated by Francis J. Ziegler as Swanwhite
  • Fordringsägare (1910), translated by Francis J. Ziegler as The Creditor
  • Moderskärlek (1910), translated by Francis J. Ziegler as Mother Love
  • Inför döden (1911), translated by Olive Johnson as Facing Death
  • Fröken Julie (1912), translated by Charles Recht as Countess Julia
  • Paria (1912), translated by Bjoerkman and published in Plays by August Strindberg: Creditors, Pariah
  • Le Plaidoyer d'un fou (1912), translated by Ellie Schleussner as The Confession of a Fool
  • Inferno (1912), translated by Claud Field as The Inferno
  • Giftas (1913), translated by Ellie Schleussner as Married
  • Tjänstekvinnans son (1913), translated by Claud Field as The Son of a Servant, intro by Henry Vacher-Burch
  • I havsbandet (1913), translated by Elizabeth Clarke Westergren as On the Seaboard: A Novel of the Baltic Islands
  • Historiska miniatyrer (1913), translated by Claud Field as Historical Miniatures
  • I havsbandet (1913), translated by Ellie Schleussner as By the Open Sea
  • En blå bok (1913), translated by Claud Field as Zones of the Spirit: A Book of Thoughts, intro by Arthur Babillotte
  • Samum (1914), translated by Horace B. Samuel and published in Paria [and] Simoon
  • Advent: Ett mysterium (1914), translated by Claud Field as Advent
  • På gott och ont (1914), translated by Claud Field as The Martyr of Stockholm
  • Sagor (1930), translated by L. J. Potts as Tales
  • Erik XIV (1931), translated by Joan Bulman and published in Master Olof and Other Plays
  • Fröken Julie (1950), translated by C. D. Locock as Lady Julie
  • Kristina,Carl XII, and Gustav III (1955), translated by W. Johnson and published in Queen Christina, Charles XII, [and] Gustav III
  • Gustav Adolf (1957), translated by Walter Johnson as Gustav Adolf
  • Påsk (1957), translated by Elizabeth Sprigge as Easter
  • Hemsöborna (1959), translated by Elspeth Harley Schubert as The People of Hemso
  • Öppna brev till Intima Teatern (1959), translated by W. Johnson as Open Letters to the Intimate Theatre
  • Strindbergs brev till Harriet Bosse: Natur och Kultur, Bokförlaget Natur och kultur (1959), translated by Arvid Paulson as Letters of Strindberg to Harriet Bosse
  • Fröken Julie (1961), translated by E. M. Sprinchorn as Miss Julie
  • Inferno (1912), translated by Mary Sandbach as Inferno
  • Leka med elden (1963), translated by Michael Meyer as Playing With Fire
  • Fröken Julie (1965), adapted by Ned Rorem as Miss Julie (opera)
  • Hemsöborna (1965), translated by Arvid Paulson as Natives of Hemsö
  • Ur ockulta dagboken (1965), translated by Mary Sandbach as From an Occult Diary: Marriage with Harriet Bosse
  • Dödsdansen (1966), translated by Norman Ginsbury as The Dance of Death
  • Tjänstekvinnans son (1966) translated by E. M. Sprinchorn as The Son of a Servant: The Story of the Evolution of a Human Being (1849–1867)
  • Le Plaidoyer d'un fou (1967), translated by E. M. Sprinchorn as A Madman's Defense
  • Syndabocken (1967), translated by Arvid Paulson as The Scapegoat
  • Le Plaidoyer d'un fou (1968), translated by Anthony Swerling as A Madman's Manifesto
  • Dance of Death (film) (1969), film starring Laurence Olivier
  • Klostret (1969), translated by Mary Sandbach as The Cloister
  • Miss Julie (1971); this version starred Helen Mirren
  • Ensam (1971), translated by Arvid Paulson as Days of Loneliness
  • Giftas (1972), translated by Mary Sandbach as Getting Married
  • Sömngångarnätter och vakna dagar (verse) (1978) adapted by Arvid Paulson as Sleepwalking Nights and Wide-Awake Days and Biographical
  • Taklagsöl (1987), translated by David Mel Paul and Margareta Paul in The Roofing Ceremony and The Silver Lake (another short story by Strindberg)
  • En häxa (1991), translated by Mary Sandbach as A Witch

[4][14]

Poetry, fiction, other, and autobiography

  • From Fjerdingen and Svartbäcken, short stories, 1877
  • The Red Room, novel, 1879
  • Gamla Stockholm (Old Stockholm), with Claes Lundin, cultural history, 1880
  • I Vårbrytningen: Ungdomsarbeten, for childlren, Volumes I-VI, 1881
  • Kulturhistoriska studier, 1881
  • Dikter och verkligheter (Poems and Realities), verse and prose, 1881
  • Svenska folket i helg och söcken, i krig och i fred, hemma och ute; eller, Ett tusen år av svenska bildningens och sedernas historia (The Swedish People on Holy Day and Everyday, in War and Peace, at Home and Abroad; or, A Thousand Years of the History of Swedish Culture and Manners), illustrations by Carl Larsson and C. E. Fritze, Volume I ,1881 and volume II, 1882
  • Det nya riket (The New Kingdom), essay, 1882
  • Svenska öden och äventyr (Swedish Destinies and Adventures), novel, 1883
  • Dikter på vers och prosa Poems in Verse and Prose, 1883
  • Likt och olikt, 1884
  • Sömngångarnätter och vakna dagar (verse), 1884
  • Giftas (Married), two volumed short stories, Schleussner 1884–1886
  • Kvarstadsresan (Journey into Detention), autobiography, 1885
  • Utopier i verkligheten (Utopias in Reality), short stories, 1885
  • Jäsningstiden (Time of Ferment), autobiographical novel, 1886
  • Tjänstekvinnans son (The Son of a Servant), autobiography, 1886–1909
  • Hemsöborna (Natives of Hemsö), novel, 1887
  • Vivisectioner, (Vivisections), essays includes On Psychic Murder, 1887
  • Blomstermaalningar och djurstycken ungdomen tillaegnade (Flowers and Animals), popular science, 1888
  • Le Plaidoyer d'un fou, 1888
  • Tschandala, novel, 1888
  • Skaerkarlslif: Beraettelser (Life in the Skerries), short story, 1888
  • Bland franska boender (Among French Peasants), non-fiction, 1889
  • Om modern drama och modern teater" (On Modern Drama and the Modern Theatre), essay, 1889
  • En haxa (A Witch), novel, 1890
  • I havsbandet, novel, 1890
  • Tryckt och otryckt (Printed and unprinted), plays, essays, and other writings, 1890–1897
  • Les Relations de la France avec la Suede jusqu'a nos jours, 1891
  • Antibarbarus, essays, 1892
  • Jardin des plantes (Botanical Gardens), science, 1896
  • Hortus Merlini: Lettres sur la chimie; Sylva sylvarum, 1897
  • Inferno, novel/autobiography, 1897
  • Svensk natur (Swedish Nature), 1897
  • Legender (Legends: Autobiographical Sketches), 1898
  • Klostret (Monastery), novel ,1898
  • Typer och prototyper inom mineralkemien: Festskrift till firandet af Berzelii femtioaarsminne, 1898
  • Jakob brottas (Jacob Wrestling), journal, 1898
  • Samvetsqval (Remorse), 1899
  • Vaerldshistoriens mystik ((The Mysticism (or Mystique or Hidden Meaning) of World History)), essay, 1901
  • Fagervik och Skamsund (Fair Haven and Foul Strand), 1902
  • Ensam (Alone), novella, 1903
  • Sagor (Fairy tales), stories, 1903
  • Oeppna brev till Intima Teatern, essays, 1903
  • Götiska rummen (Gothic Rooms), novel, 1904
  • Historiska miniatyrer (Historical Thumbnails), fiction, 1905
  • Ordalek och smaakonst (Word Play and Miniature Art), poems, 1905
  • Taklagsoel, novella, 1907
  • Syndabocken, novella, 1907
  • Svarta fanor (Black Banners), novel, 1907
  • Kammarspel, 1907
  • En blaa bok (A Blue Book), essays and journal entries, four volumes, 1907–1912
  • Fabler och smårre beråttelser (Fables and Minor Stories), 1909
  • Shakespeares Macbeth, Othello, Romeo och Julia, Stormen, Kung Lear, Henrik VIII, En Midsommarnattsdröm (Shakespeare's Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, King Lear, Henry VIII, A Midsummer Night's Dream), 1909
  • Tal till Svenska Nationen om olust i landet, levernet, litteraturen och laerdomen ... Sjunde upplagan (Speeches to the Swedish Nation), 1910
  • Författaren: En sjåls utvecklingshistoria (Author: A psychic development history), 1910
  • Folkstaten: Studier till en stundande författningsrevision (People's State: Studies in a forthcoming Constitutional Court), 1910
  • Modersmaalets anor (The Origins of Our Mother Tongue), essay ,1910
  • Vaerldspraakens roetter (The Roots of World Languages), 1910
  • Religioes renaessans (Religious Renaissance), 1910
  • Kina och Japan: Studier (China and Japan Studies), 1911
  • Kinesiska språkets hårkomst (Chinese language descent), 1912
  • Samlade skrifter (Collected Works), fifty-five volumes, edited by John Landquist

In popular culture

A mural in honor of August Strindberg in Stockholm, at the Rådmansgatan subway station
  • Strindberg's play The Father was mentioned in "The West Coast Delay", an episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, in a discussion between Nate Corddry and Matthew Perry. Corddry calls it the "scariest play I ever read" and used it to give advice on Perry's relationship troubles.[15] Strindberg was also named on 30 Rock, NBC's other show dealing with the behind-the-scenes drama at an SNL-esque show.[citation needed]
  • In a popular Hindi novel A Torn Happiness by Nirmal Verma, Strindberg looms large over the heads of many characters.
  • In the Woody Allen movie Manhattan; Woody Allen's character, Issac Davis states: "When it comes to relationships with women, I'm the winner of the August Strindberg Award."
  • In the Mel Brooks musical The Producers, the line "So keep your Strindbergs and Ibsens at bay" is present in the song, "Keep It Gay".
  • A track featured on the album Eli by artists Jan Akkerman and Kaz Lux was written as a tribute to Strindberg's works.
  • In the French film Jules and Jim, the main characters watch one of Strindberg's plays, influencing a change in one of the characters.
  • August Strindberg was indirectly referenced in a song by Amanda Palmer titled "Strength Through Music", which contains an audio clip of a web cartoon called Strindberg and Helium. The cartoon almost exclusively quotes Strindberg's work.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Adams, Ann-Charlotte Gavel (2002). Twentieth-Century Swedish Writers Before World War II. Detroit, Michigan: Gale. ISBN 978-0-7876-5261-6. 
  2. ^ Imagi-Nation.com, August Strindberg
  3. ^ a b c d e f Merriam Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature (1995) pg 1074-5
  4. ^ a b c d e Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research. 2010. ISBN 978-0-7876-3995-2. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Nolin, Bertil (1999). Theatre Research International. New York City,New York: Cambridge University Press. 
  6. ^ Theatre Research International. New York City, New York: Cambridge University Press. 1993. 
  7. ^ Books.Google.com
  8. ^ Lagercrantz, Olof: August Strindberg
  9. ^ SPB.ru (Russian)
  10. ^ Strindberg exhibition, Tate Modern
  11. ^ Gunnarsson, Torsten, Nordic Landscape Painting in the Nineteenth Century, pages 256-60. Yale University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-300-07041-1
  12. ^ Gunnarsson, page 256.
  13. ^ "August Strindberg I Bla Tornet" (in Swedish) by Fanny Falkner, P. A. Norstedt & Soners (1921), ASIN: B002KSXUTI), Google books listing Note: the name of this book includes the name of his home in his final years (Bla Tornet)
  14. ^ Jrank.org
  15. ^ "The West Coast Delay". Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. NBC. 2006-10-09.

Sources

  • Ekman, Hans-Göran. 2000. Strindberg and the Five Senses: Studies in Strindberg's Chamber Plays. London and New Brunswick, New Jersey: Athlone. ISBN 0485115522.
  • Lagercrantz, Olof. 1984. August Strindberg. Farrar Straus Giroux, New York. ISBN 0374106851.
  • Martinus, Eivor, trans. 1987. Motherly Love / Pariah / The First Warning. By August Strindberg. Oxford: Amber Lane. ISBN 0906399793.
  • Meyer, Michael. 1985. Strindberg: A Biography. Oxford Lives ser. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1987. ISBN 019281995X.
  • Paulson, Arvid, trans. 1970. World Historical Plays. By August Strindberg. New York: Twayne Publishers & The American-Scandinavian Foundation. ISBN 1135841403.
  • Oland, Edith, trans. 1912. Plays: Comrades, Facing Death, Pariah, Easter,
  • Sandbach, Mary, trans. 1984. By The Open Sea. By August Strindberg. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1987. ISBN 0140444882.
  • Strindberg, August. 1990. The Great Highway. Absolute Classics ser. Bath: Absolute. ISBN 0948230282.
  • Ward, John. 1980. The Social and Religious Plays of Strindberg. London: Athlone. ISBN 0485111837.
  • 2010. Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Research, Detroit, Michigan. ISBN 9780787639952

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

August Strindberg (22 January 184914 May 1912) was a Swedish playwright and artist.

August Strindberg
Portrait of August Strindberg by Richard Bergh

Unsourced

  • People who keep dogs are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people themselves.
  • In that first prolific period of painting,my painting had a theraputic function.(Strindberg was also a talented amateur painter)
  • When is revolution legal? When it succeeds!
  • I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the guts to bite people.
  • What is economics? A science invented by the upper class in order to acquire the fruits of the labor of the underclass.
  • When they say Christ descended into Hell, they mean that he descended to earth, this penitentiary, this madhouse and morgue of a world.
  • Woman, being small and foolish and therefore evil, should be suppressed like barbarians and thieves. She is useful only as an ovary and womb, best of all as a cunt.
  • By aiming for the impossible, you reach the highest level of the possible. (Or: To reach for the outmost possibility, you've got to aim for the impossible)
  • See you in my next book, you bastard! (From a letter to a journalist who had criticized his work)

External links

  • [1] The Town (painting by Strindberg.
  • [2] Other examples of Strindberg's painting
Wikipedia
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Wikisource has original works written by or about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AUGUST STRINDBERG (1849-), Swedish author, was born at Stockholm on the 22nd of January 1849. He entered the university of Upsala in 1867, but was compelled by poverty to interrupt his studies, which were resumed in 1870. His gloomy experiences of student life are reflected in a series of sketches named after two districts of Upsala, Fran Fjerdingen och Svartbacken (1877), which aroused great indignation at the time. After various experiments as schoolmaster, private tutor and actor, he turned to journalism, and afterwards more than avenged himself for the triviality and narrowness of his new surroundings in his famous Roda rummet (" The Red Room," 1879), described in the sub-title as sketches of literary and artistic life. The " red room " was the meeting-place in a small cafe in Stockholm of a society of needy journalists and artists, whose failure and despair are shown off against the prosperity of a typical bourgeois couple. In these stories Strindberg's fanatic hatred of womankind already makes its appearance, the disasters of the principal figures being precipitated by the selfishness and immorality of the women. In 1874 some friends procured him a place in the Royal library at Stockholm where he was employed until 1882. He was already an ardent student of physical science; he now gave proof of his versatility by learning Chinese in order to catalogue the Chinese MSS. in the library; and his French monograph on the early relations of Sweden with the Far East was read in 1879 before the Academy of Inscriptions in Paris. He continued to write for the newspapers and for the theatre. His first important drama, Master Olof, which had been refused in 1872 by the theatrical authorities, was produced after repeated revision in 1878. Although real historical personages - Gustavus Vasa, Olaus Petri the reformer and Gerdt the Anabaptist - figure as leading characters, they are made symbolic of the present-day forces of progress and reaction. The production of Master Olof marked the beginning of the new movement in Swedish literature, and the Red Room and the collection of satirical sketches entitled Det nya riket (" The New Kingdom," 1882) increased the growing hostility to Strindberg. Two comedies drawn from medieval subjects, Gillets hemlighet (" The Secret of the Guild," 1880) and herr Bengt's Hustru (" Bengt's Wife," 1882), were followed by the legendary drama of Lycko Pers resa (" The Journal of Lucky Peter "), written in 1882 and produced with great success on the stage a year later.

In 1883 Strindberg left Sweden with his family, to travel in Germany, Italy, France and Denmark, writing for foreign reviews and producing various volumes of stories and articles. Meanwhile he had been developing his attack on the feminist movement, which had received a great stimulus in Scandinavia from the dramas of Ibsen. In Giftas (" Married," 1884) he produced twelve stories of married life to support his view of the sex question; this was followed in 1886 by a second collection with the same title, which was written in a more violent tone and lacked some of the art of the earlier attack. He was prosecuted for assailing the dogma of the communion, but he returned to Sweden to defend himself, and was acquitted. Strindberg's mastery of the art of description is perhaps seen at its best in the novels of life in the Swedish archipelago, in Hemsoborna (" The Inhabitants of Hemsd, 1887), one of the best existing novels of popular Swedish life, and Skarkarlslif (" Life of an Island Lad," 1890). Tschaudala (1889) and I hafsbandet (" In the Bond of the Sea," 1890) show the influence of a study of Nietzsche. In 1887 he returned to drama with the powerful tragedy Fadren, produced in Paris also as Le pere; this was followed in 1888 by Froken Julie, described as a naturalistic drama, to which he wrote a preface in the nature of a manifesto, directed against critics who had resented the gloom of Fadren. Kamraterna (" Comrades," 1888), which belongs to the same group of six plays, was followed by Himmelriketsnycklar (" The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven," 1892), a legendary drama, and by the historical dramas of Erik .k I V. (1899), Gustav Adolf (1900), and Gustav Vasa (1899); Till Damascus (1898) indicated a return in the direction of religion; Folkungasagan (1899) was represented in 1901; and the OA plays Avent (" Advent ") and Brott och brott (" Crime for Crime "), printed together in 1899, were successfully represented in 1900, both in Sweden and Germany.

Strindberg has provided a quantity of what is really autobiographical material, with an account of the origin of his various books, in the form of a novel, Tjensteqvinnans son (" The Son of a Servant," 1886-1887), with the sub-title of "A Soul's Development." The revelations of this book explain much of the bitterness of his work, and it was followed in 1893 by a fourth part in German, Die Beichte eines Thoren (" A Fool's Confession "),. the printing of which was forbidden in Sweden. With these should be classed his Inferno (1897) and Somngangarnatter (" The Nights of a Somnambulist," 1900). Strindberg's first marriage was an unfortunate one, and was dissolved in 1893. He then married an Austrian lady, from whom he was separated in 1896. In igoi he married the Swedish actress Harriet Bosse, from whom he was amicably separated soon afterwards. He suffered at different times from mental attacks, of which. he gave analytic accounts on his recovery.

A number of criticisms on Strindberg from eminent hands are collected in En bok om Strindberg (Karlstad, 1894).

a general term for thin cord, or stout thread, a line or cord on which objects are strung. The O. Eng. word is streng, cf. Dan. streng, Ger. Strang, and meant that which is strongly or tightly twisted; it is related to " strong," and is to be referred to the root seen also in Lat. stringere, to draw tight, whence " stringent " and "strict," and in Gr. o -rparyaXrt, a halter, whence comes " strangle," to choke, throttle. The word is particularly used of the cord of a bow, and of the stretched cords of gut and wire upon a musical instrument, the vibration of which. produces the tones (see Stringed Instruments below). In. architecture the term " string-course " is applied to the projecting course or moulding running horizontally along the face of a building.


<< Strikes and lock-outs

Stringed Instruments >>








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