August Strindberg Quotes
Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over sixty plays and more than thirty works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. A bold experimenter and iconoclast throughout, he explored a wide range of dramatic methods and purposes, from naturalistic tragedy, monodrama, and history plays, to his anticipations of expressionist and surrealist dramatic techniques. From his earliest work, Strindberg developed innovative forms of dramatic action, language, and visual composition. He is considered the "father" of modern Swedish literature and his The Red Room has frequently been described as the first modern Swedish novel.
In Sweden, Strindberg is known as an essayist, painter, poet, and especially as a novelist and playwright, but in other countries he is known mostly as a playwright.
The Royal Theatre rejected his first major play, Master Olof, in 1872; it was not until 1881, at the age of thirty-two, that its première at the New Theatre gave him his theatrical breakthrough. In his plays The Father, he created naturalistic dramas that – building on the established accomplishments of Henrik Ibsen's prose problem plays while rejecting their use of the structure of the well-made play – responded to the call-to-arms of Émile Zola's manifesto "Naturalism in the Theatre" and the determining role of heredity and the environment on the "vacillating, disintegrated" characters is emphasized. Strindberg modeled his short-lived Scandinavian Experimental Theatre, and a preface to Miss Julie, the last of which is probably the best-known statement of the principles of the theatrical movement.
During the 1890s he spent significant time abroad engaged in scientific experiments and studies of the occult. A series of psychotic attacks between 1894 and 1896 – with its radical attempt to dramatize the workings of the unconscious by means of an abolition of conventional dramatic time and space and the splitting, doubling, merging, and multiplication of its characters – was an important precursor to both expressionism and surrealism. He also returned to writing historical drama, the genre with which he had begun his play-writing career. He helped to run the Intimate Theatre from 1907, a small-scale theatre, modeled on Max Reinhardt's Kammerspielhaus, that staged his chamber plays.