Read Five Plays: The Father / Miss Julie / The Dance of Death / A Dream Play / The Ghost Sonata by August Strindberg Free Online
Book Title: Five Plays: The Father / Miss Julie / The Dance of Death / A Dream Play / The Ghost Sonata|
Date of issue: July 21st 1983
ISBN 13: 9780520046986
The author of the book: August Strindberg
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 823 KB
Edition: University of California Press
Read full description of the books Five Plays: The Father / Miss Julie / The Dance of Death / A Dream Play / The Ghost Sonata:Auguste Strindberg is a major playwright with whom I've too long been unfamiliar. He's a significant influence on the development of western theater. This succinct collection of five of his best works, quickly supplies my lack. I'm midway through this little tome--its brisk reading--and immediately grasp a sense of his style.
Frankly--although I can see why he became so influential--some of his inventiveness is not anything I'd seek out more of. Strindberg was writing in the 1890s - 1910s and there's fascination in that alone: plenty of quirky military officers, wealthy families, landed gentry, & devoted servants in his scenarios--a glimpse of old 'class-riven' Europe.
But the emotions he explores among his tortured characters are shrill, strained, over-febrile. Lurid. Everyone is a little high-strung and feverish in these plays; all-too-ready to break into frenzied speeches; gnash their teeth; tear their hair. It's quite over-wrought. There's a lot of characters extremely worried about 'their honor' and 'their reputation'.
The best play so far is the intriguing 'Dance of Death' which takes place (and this indicates the kind of thing you'll find in Strindberg) in a stone-block tower in a military garrison in an army outpost on a remote island off the coast. Communication with the mainland is via telegraph only. You get the idea.
Where Strindberg excels, though--I must say this in closing--is in one very valuable area of stage-writing: his depictions of married life. The conversations between husbands and wives here are superb and spot-on. Hilarious. No one does 'old married couples' like Strindberg! For this alone, I am well-rewarded.
Read information about the authorJohan August Strindberg was a Swedish writer, playwright, and painter. Along with Henrik Ibsen, Søren Kierkegaard, Selma Lagerlöf and Hans Christian Andersen he is arguably the most influential and famous of all Scandinavian authors. Strindberg is known as one of the fathers of modern theatre. His work falls into two major literary movements, Naturalism and Expressionism. He is widely read in Sweden and internationally to this day.
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