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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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Simoom 339

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SIMOOM (1889) CHARACTERS BISKRA, an Arab girl YOUSSEF, her lover GUIMARD, lieutenant in the Zouaves In Algeria [Latter half of the 19th century.] THE SCENE An Arab Marabout (burial shrine) with a sarcophagus in the middle of the floor. Prayer rugs here and there. In the right-hand corner, an enclosure containing bones. A door at the back with gates and curtains: window apertures on the back wall. Small heaps of sand here and there on the ground: an uprooted aloe, palm fronds, and esparto grass in a heap. SCENE I BISKRA enters wearing a burnoose with the hood drawn down over her face and a guitar on her back, casts herself down on a rug and prays with her arms across her breast. Outside the wind is blowing. BISKRA La ilaha ill'allah! YOUSSEF enters quickly. YOUSSEF Simoom is coming! Where's the Frank? BISKRA He will be here any minute. YOUSSEF Why didn't you cut him down on the spot? BISKRA No! Because he must do it all himself! If I did it, the whites would kill all our tribe, because they know that I was the guide Ali, even though they don't know that I am the girl, Biskra! YOUSSEF He's going to do it himself? How will that happen? BISKRA Don't you know that Simoom dries up the whites' brains like dates? And that they get nightmare visions which make life look so ghastly that they flee out into the great unknown? 342 Strindberg: Other Sides YOUSSEF I have...

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