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Strindberg - Other Sides

Seven Plays- Translated and introduced by Joe Martin- with a Foreword by Björn Meidal

Joseph Martin

Strindberg - Other Sides: Seven Plays presents fresh translations based upon the new national Swedish edition of Strindberg's works, hewing close to Strindberg's techniques of «scoring» his scripts for actors and directors. The plays are illuminated in introductory essays revaluating Strindberg's role in transforming theatre (and art) with his extraordinary new forms. The Ghost Sonata is a keystone in the construction of the expressionist theatre; in The Pelican Strindberg goes «over the top» with his own form of psychological drama until it soars beyond the realm of realism; The Dance of Death is a battle of the sexes rendered absurd, as a series of games played against the void; and Carl XII is an epic play portraying the last months of the king who brought Sweden's history as a great power to an end. Three one-acts from the late 1880s foreshadow the striking ambiguity of Strindberg's later works.


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The Pelican 101


Opus 4 THE PELICAN A Chamber Play (1907) CHARACTERS THE MOTHER, Elise, widow THE SON, Fredrik, a law student THE DAUGHTER, Gerda THE SON-IN-LAW, Axel, married to Gerda MARGRET, Setvant [1.] A drawing room; a door at back leads to the dining room; a balcony door to the right in pan coupe. A chiffonnier, a desk, a chaise longue with a reddish-purple shag dust cover, a rocking chair. The MOTIIER enters dressed in mourning, sits down and idles in an armchair. She listens uneasily now and again. Outside someone is playing Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu oeuvre Posthume Op. 66. MARGRET the cook enters from the back MOTIIER Close the door, please. MARGRET Are you alone, ma'am? MOTIIER Close the door, please.-Who is playing? MARGRET Dreadful weather tonight, wind and rain ... MOTIIER Close the door, please. I cannot stand this smell of car- bolic and spruce. MARGRET I knew that, ma'am, and that's why I said that he ought to be taken to the crypt right away ... MOTIIER It was the children who wanted to have the funeral at home ... MARGRET Ma'am, why are you staying in this place? Why doesn't the family move? MOTIIER The landlord won't let us move, so we cannot budge ... (Pause.) Why have you removed the cover on the red chaise longue? MARGRET I had to put it in the wash. (Pause.) I know you're aware, ma'am, that your husband drew his last breath on that sofa. But if you'd just remove the sofa ... 104 Strindberg: Other...

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