Some people have accused my tragedy of being too sad, as though one desired a merry tragedy. People clamor for Enjoyment as though Enjoyment consisted in being foolish. I find enjoyment in the powerful and terrible struggles of life; and the capability of experiencing something, of learning something, gives me pleasure.Swedish playwright, novelist, political activist and general "cultural personality" around the later half of the 19th and earliest parts of the 20th century. Controversial both in his own age and today, he was a major influence not only on Swedish literature but on modern drama in general. Considered William Shakespeare to be a major inspiration (but then again, what dramatist doesn't?)Led a complicated life, married, had an acrimonious divorce, went insane (or possibly not) and ended his life in the middle of a controversy where he had angered most of the conservative establishment. Strindberg was (at times, his opinions often changed radically) rabidly misogynist, but his plays often deal with the complexities of power and family life (whose conventional norms he criticized) leaving subsequent generations to wonder exactly how much he meant and how much was a performance.
— August Strindberg
Notable works by August Strindberg:
- Master Olof
- The People Of Hemso
- Miss Julie
- The Dance Of Death
- A Dream Play
- The Ghost Sonata
- Inferno August Strindberg
- Black Banners
- The Red Room
Notable tropes found in the collected works of August Strindberg:
- Creator Breakdown: Known as the "Inferno-crisis", the novel Inferno is based on Strindberg's own experiences (the degree to which these are dramatized is a perennial subject for literary studies-folks) following his divorce. The crisis included several psychotic episodes, including Strindberg believing his friends were trying to murder him, and led to him being hospitalised.
- Deadpan Snarker: One of his favourite character types, many of his plays involves two people more or less snarking each other to death and/or misery.
- Divorce Assets Conflict: The main conflict in Fathers is over how to raise the couple's daughter. Since divorce isn't an option and neither party would agree to the other, it ends with one party having the other committed to the Bedlam House...
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Due to his far-left (albeit... complicated) opinions, Strindberg was fairly heavily promoted within the Soviet bloc.
- Magnum Opus Dissonance: In most of the world, Strindberg is primarily famous as a playwright, whereas in his native Sweden he is considered a novelist first and foremost.
- Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: In Fathers, the main character is slowly Driven to Madness because of his inner doubts concerning whether or not he is the actual father of his daughter.