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