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By Sue Prideaux

Novelist, satirist, poet, photographer, painter, alchemist, and hellraiser-August Strindberg used to be a lot of these, and but he's largely recognized, in Arthur Miller's phrases, as "the mad inventor of recent theater" who led playwriting out of the well mannered drawing room into the snakepit of mental battle. This biography, supported by means of large new learn, describes the eventful and intricate lifetime of one of many nice literary figures in international literature. Sue Prideaux organizes Strindberg's tale right into a gripping and hugely readable narrative that either illuminates his paintings and restores humor and humanity to a guy frequently shrugged off as too tricky. most sensible recognized for his play leave out Julie, Strindberg wrote sixty different performs, 3 books of poetry, eighteen novels, and 9 autobiographies. much more than so much, Strindberg is a author whose lifestyles sheds valuable gentle on his paintings. Prideaux explores Strindberg's many art-life connections, revealing for the 1st time the originals who encouraged the characters of omit Julie and her servant Jean, the unusual situations within which the play used to be written, and the genuine suicide that encouraged the shattering finishing of the play. Recounting the playwright's trip during the "real" international in addition to the realm of trust and concepts, Prideaux marks the centenary of Strindberg's loss of life in 1912 with a biography useful of the fellow who laid the root for Western drama during the 20th century or even into the twenty-first.

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Brandes's influence extended as far as the United States where a triumphant lecture tour led to him being crowned with laurel wreaths symbolising the everlasting immortality of his genius and scholarship. Few outside Scandinavia remember him today. Brandes coined the term Modern Breakthrough9 to describe the literature of the future that he saw emerging in the work of Balzac, Zola and Ibsen, a literature emancipated from art, based not on historicism or romanticism or on imagination but on the writer's present and direct experience, a literature in which, as Strindberg put it, the author took the corpse of the person he knew best – himself – and learned anatomy, physiology, psychology and indeed the whole history of the world from the carcass.

They fell into conversation. ‘This is the man for you’, said Brandes but Strindberg could not afford to buy Nietzsche's books so Brandes lent him Beyond Good and Evil and The Wagner Case and Strindberg was immediately overtaken by one of his wholehearted enthusiasms. He was just coming out of a period of socialism. Now socialism was humbug (a popular word in Scandinavia at the time, probably because of Dickens46) and, for a limited period, Nietzsche's ‘Aristocratic Radicalism’ set him on fire. One may say that if Brandes discovered Nietzsche, this park-bench meeting resulted in Strindberg becoming Nietzsche's first international disciple.

Next Greta, aged six, less blond and less eager to please. While Karin invariably smiles charmingly at the camera, Greta scowls. Finally, three-year-old Hans who looked like everyone's dream of a son, a chubby angel, but he had arrived too late in his parents' turbulent marriage to merit wonder and celebration, even though he belonged to the more important sex. Siri and Strindberg occupied separate bedrooms in the Leopold, the hotel where actors and writers congregated in Copenhagen. Among their fellow guests was thirty-eight year-old Victoria Benedictsson,6 a feminist writer of great intelligence and long-faced Virginia Woolf-like beauty.

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