STRINDBERG by Colin Wilson


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Strindberg wrote phantasmagoric dramas in his last years of loneliness, neglect and increasing derangement such as this play -- an appropriate if not particularly useful parallel. Strindberg is 60 here, lying on his bed while figures from his past drift in and out of his sick mind -- Siri whom he had loved most intensely who taught him ""the hatred of her sex""; Harriet, his third wife; bluestockinged Ina Forsten; etc. In the second part he appears on trial for his sexual infractions, for his alchemical experimentation and for his works. At the close he contends that the trial is only an inquest for the man who failed/died much earlier. Not only Strindberg's psychopathological morbidity but his mystical, Swedenborgian ""devastation"" quite self-evidently would attract Colin Wilson although those unfamiliar with Strindberg's life would find it hard to distinguish between firmer reality and shredded delusion since Wilson has not identified or amplified any of it for the reader. A curiosa at most and at best.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1972
Publisher: Random House