Seven Plays- Translated and introduced by Joe Martin- with a Foreword by Björn Meidal
The Plays Introduced 25
Strindberg-A Revaluation 25 from the period after his breakup with Harriet Bosse, in a passage of unusual tranquility, our "narrow-minded" and "obsessive" author perhaps reveals the secret of his broad register as a playwright: When I ... have arrived home and am sitting at my writing table, then I live again .... I am living, and I live over and over again the human lives I depict; I am happy with those who are happy, irate with those who are irate, and those who are good make me feel good. I creep out of my own personality and speak out of the mouths of children-of women-of old men; I am king and I am beggar; I am the highly placed one, the tyrant, and the most despised among men, the oppressed hater of tyrants; I have a multitude of opinions, and confess to all religions; I dwell in all ages and have ceased to exist as myself. And all this is a state of mind which gives me an indescribable joy.30 THE PlAYS 6. The Ghost Sonata, of all the plays from this period, provides perhaps the best example Strindberg's striking attempts to create a synthesis of his social thought and his spiritual concerns. It is a play which provides the key to his late innovations. A close probing of just this play-which demanded such a radical new approach to theatre per- formance at the dawn of the twentieth century-and an understand- ing of the context in which it was written, can...
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