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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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Appendix: Toten-Insel 353


APPENDIX TOTEN-INSEL: Hades (A Fragment) Background: Boecklin's painting, The Isle of the Dead. The stage is empty. First whispering is audible, then soft voices, talking. The GUARDIAN, on the upper terrace of the hill, comes forward and blows on a lur. The 1EACHER, a man completely clad in white with a Zeus-like head but white hair and beard, emerges from the grove of cypresses, going down to the dock. A black boat with an oarsman clad in black comes in from the left, bearing a white coffin, beside which stands a figure in white. 1EACHER Who? FIGURE Read this! * 1EACHER (takes the plate from the coffin and reads.) I know him! - A poor human being who was tormented to death by life .... No, don't frighten him ... The coffin is pushed onto land. Sixty-two years of toil, duties, sorrows ... no flowers, no wreaths ... FIGURE Your orders! 1EACHER First the salutation! INVISIBLE CHOIR "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." * 1EACHER (to the DEAD MAN.) Awake! DEAD MAN (sits up.) What time is it, Anna?- I thought I heard ringing ... Oh, I am so sleepy, so tired ... if only I could sleep an hour more, just one hour ... lessons at six thirty, yes, but I have fifty essay books to correct first, seventh form essays ... What is it? Bills: the butcher, the...

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