Seven Plays- Translated and introduced by Joe Martin- with a Foreword by Björn Meidal
PREFACE W1rn the publication of this new volume of translations of Strind- berg plays, it is my hope that more will be accomplished than simply providing stageworthy English versions, that accurately reflect the intentions of the Swedish master playwright. There has been a steady and ongoing revaluation of his works taking place over recent decades, perhaps beginning with Eric Bentley's seminal The Playwright as Thinker; followed by publication in English of some of Strindberg's many novels; biographies such as that of Olof Lagercrantz; collec- tions on Strindberg's socially engaged work in Swedish by, among others, Jan Myrdal; and the release in a facsimile edition of his huge Occult Diary (Ockulta Dagboken). There have been increasingly successful attempts to stage his so-called dream plays throughout the world, and in Sweden there has been a return to that same material as well as his dozen or so little-known history plays, which run the gamut from Shakespearean-style chronicle to expressionistic epic. Nevertheless, a rather garish image of Strindberg still lingers in North America and England-very different from the understanding of Strindberg the man and the artist which one finds in Germany, France and of course the Scandinavian countries. If I were to summarize this distorted image of Strindberg as found among American and some British intellectuals-thereby perhaps distorting it further-it would sound something like this: "Strindberg. Yes of course we know him: The misogynist who went mad-but wrote three great plays about the battle of the sexes for therapy." Others are aware of...
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