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by Bamber Gascoigne

(Johan) August Strindberg (1849-1912)


Swedish playwright, novelist, and short-story writer, who combined in his works psychology, self-analysis, naturalism, and later elements of new literary forms. August Strindberg was married three times – several of his plays drew on the problems of his marriages. A controversial writer, who suffered from hostile reviews, Strindberg represented the 19th-century ideal of artist as a free personality, unconstrained by bourgeois conventions.

"My souls (characters) are conglomerations of past and present stages of civilization, bits from books and newspapers, scraps of humanity, rags and tatters of fine clothing, patched together as is the human soul. And I have added a little evolutionary history by making the weaker steal and repeat the words of the stronger, and by making the characters borrow ideas or "suggestions" from one another." (author's foreword to Miss Julie, in Six Plays of Strindberg, translated by Elizabeth Sprigge, 1955)

August Strindberg was born in Stockholm. His father, Carl Oscar Strindberg, proud of a trace of aristocratic blood, was a shipping agent, but his business success was relatively modest. Strindberg's mother, Ulrika Eleanora Norling, had a proletarian background. She was a tailor's daughter, who had been a domestic servant and become Carl Oscar's mistress. August was their third son; the couple had nine more children. To the poet and writer Birger Mörner Strindberg once claimed that he is a Mongol. He was proud of his cheekbones, "they were an inheritance from Lappish ancestors." (Selected Essays by August Strindberg, selected, edited and translated by Michael Robinson, 1996, p. 242)

Ulrika Eleanora died when Strindberg was 13 years old. After his father remarried, Strindberg came to hate his stepmother. To underline his sympathies with the lower-classes, Strindberg entitled his autobiography The Son of a Servant (1886). Strindberg's childhood was poor and miserable – he was shy and family tensions depressed him. Verner von Heidenstam once said that he never heard him laugh. His habitual expression was so severe, he described, that if you met him on a mountain path you would hand him your purse before he asked for it.

In 1867 Strindberg entered the University of Uppsala, where he failed to pass the preliminary examination in chemistry. He was employed for a short time by the Royal Dramatic Theatre, writing for the stage three plays that were rejected. Strindberg returned to his studies in Uppsala and completed in 1872 a senior candidacy. Back in Stockholm, Strindberg worked as a journalist and finished the historical drama Mäster Olof, about the introspective Swedish Protestant reformer Olaus Petri. It was written in the spirit of Shakespeare but Strindberg also adopted influences from Schiller.

Strindberg became in 1874 an assistant librarian at the Royal Library, serving until his resignation in 1882. He married in 1877 Baroness Siri von Essen, who had been wife of Baron Carl Gustaf Wrangel, and was a member of the Swedish aristocracy in Finland. By the time of the marriage Siri was seven months pregnant; the child died and they had later three more children, one of whom, Kristin, wrote an account of her parents' stormy life together. In En dåres försvarstal  (1887, A Madman's Defense) Strindberg returned to his first marriage in a story in which the narrator is torn between adoration and revulsion. However, first the marriage brought some balance into Strindberg's life.

Strinberg´s first published novel, Röda rummet (1879, The Red Room), a satirical story about early capitalism and corruption in Stockholm, made him nationally famous. Arvid Falk, the central character, is an aspiring writer who loses all his illusions, and finally accepts bourgeois family life. With this book Strindberg started his career as one of the most prominent figures in Nordic literature and culture. Master Olof, which first had been rejected, was produced in 1881 and received with enthusiasm.

Svenska folket (1880-82) was an excursion into the history of Sweden. Far from trying to establish himself as Sweden's national writer, Strindberg attacked the nation's central values, official history writing, and made himself unpopular among academic historians. Strindberg's revenge on his critics was Det nya riket (1882), a dissection of Oscarian Sweden. In Denmark he was accused of antisemitism.

To escape the uproar which he had stirred up, and partly to follow the example of many other Scandinavian writers, Strinberg decided to travel abroad. He first moved in 1883 to France with his family and between the years 1884 and 1887 he lived with short interruptions in Switzerland. During this time he corresponded with Friedrich Nietzsche, and became interested of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Under financial and marital difficulties, Strindberg started to show symptoms of emotional crisis. Feelings of persecution were suppressed by heavy drinking of absinthe. Eventually he started to believe his wife wanted to have him locked away in a mental institution.

While staying with his wife Siri in Grez-sur-Loing, on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau,  Strindberg met there Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Other members of the Scandinvian artists' colony included Carl Larson, Jonas Lie, Karl Nordström, Ville Vallgren, and Anders Zorn.

The publication of the first part of his scenes of marital life Giftas (1884, Getting Married), outraged the Swedish establishment, especially the short story 'Reward of virtue,' in which Strindberg mocked the Holy Communion. The book was confiscated, Strindberg was prosecuted for blasphemy. The trial continued for thirteen days. Strindberg conducted his own defence. Gustaf af Geijerstam assured Siri that her husband won't be imprisoned: the King himself gave orders to appoint liberal jurors. Strindberg, calm and pale, was acquitted. In Sweden the younger generation hailed him as a hero. Getting Married was inspired by Ibsen's play A Doll's House (1883), but Strindberg was more on the side of Nora's husband. However, Strindberg's egalitarian vision of gender roles was radical for its day and age, although at the same time he accepted the idea that celibacy could lead to physical debility.

Strindberg's friendship with Bjørnson eventually grew very sour. Bjørnson first adviced him to go into exile and then urged him to return to Sweden and face the charges. (He tought that the prosecution is the best advertisement for the book.) Strindberg's letter crushed Bjørnson's hopes that his younger colleague would be his ally: "Ers Majestät! Ert Kejserliga reskript har jag mottagit och skall ha ärän att alldeles förbise detsamma. Kärä bror! Din oförskrämdhet gör dig liten. Behöver du mig för någon politisk humbug, så har jag andra och större upgifter i livet. . . . Var sann! Björnson! Du är falsk som en festtalare." (August Strindberg by Olof Lagercrantz, 1982, p. 157)

Fröken Julie (1888, Miss Julie), Stridberg's next major drama after Fadren (1887, The Father), coupled one of his favorite themes, the Darwinian battle between the sexes, with a social struggle and love-hate bond. Strindberg wrote it durring his stay in Denmark. The protagonist, Julie, a daughter of a count, allows herself to be seduced by her father's servant Jean. She must then confront the situation, in which Jean, a man on the rise, turns out to be the stronger person. Julie causes her own tragic fate. Unable to arrive at any reasonable plan, she orders Jean to hypnotize her into committing suicide. Miss Julie had its premiere at Strindberg's Experimental Theater in Copenhagen in 1889.

Alf Sjöberg's film adaptation of the play from 1951 was faithful to Strindberg's dislike of fragmentation into the acts. He had already staged Strindberg's play and had experimented with "simultaneous theatre," where the stage was shared by the actors and their visions, or with ghosts. The cinematographer Göran Strindberg was the author's grandson. From 1954-61 he worked mostly in West Germany photographing 11 films, notably Kurt Siodmak's Die Ratten (1955), Horst Hächler's Liebe (1956), based on Vicki Baum's novel Danger from Deer, and Gottfried Reinhardt's Menschen im Hotel (1959), also from a novel by Baum.

After completing Miss Julie, Strindberg wrote in 1889 with Antoine's Théâtre Libre a group of one act plays, Paria, Den starkare, and Samum, and returned to Sweden. He divorced from Siri von Essen and moved to Berlin, where he met an Austrian journalist Maria Uhl, known as Frida Uhl, his second wife, whom he married in 1893. Their honeymoon the couple spent in London, but after disagreements Strindberg escaped to the island of Rügen. The marriage became the subject of his autobiographical sketch, Klostret (1966, The Cloister), but he also dealt with marital problems in some minor works, as in the short story 'An Attenmpt at Reform'. In the ironic picture of "a model marriage" a young couple try to live together but maintain at the same their independence. They have separate rooms, share expenses and household work equally, and throw away the double bed, "that abomination which has no counterpart in nature and is responsible for a great deal of dissipation and immorality." (Married by August Strindberg, translated by Thomas Selzer, 1917, p. 105) After the birth of their baby, the husband asks himself: "Didn't she do her full share of of the work by mothering the baby? Wasn't that as good as money?" And the wife soon gets over the fact that he had to keep her.

Haunted by guilt about deserting his children and attacked by his critics, Strindberg became possessed of a persecution mania. He also suffered from insomnia and psoriasis, and spent some weeks in the St. Louis Hospital in Paris. Between the years 1892 and 1897 Strindberg experienced several psychotic episodes, and recorded his tormented thoughts later in Inferno. Like many other writers and artists of his generation, he was drawn to occultism. At the opening of his Occult Diary, Strindberg wrote his motto, taken from the Talmud: "Om du vill lärä känna det osynliga, så iaktag med öppen blick det synliga." (If you would know the invisible, look carefully at the visible.) ('Mit namn skall vara August Strindberg tiden ut' by Björn  Ranelid, in Om Strindbeg, edited by Lena Einhorn, 2010, p. 352)

Turning to painting, Strindberg created in the 1890s seascapes, which have been compared to the works of Turner. His favorite motifs included a vision from a cave toward the outside world and a wave breaking in open sea. With the help of Swedenborgian studies, and adopting the idea that certain people are destined to suffer, he emerged from the crisis.

While spending the summer of 1892 on Dalarö, he produced about thirty paintings. His first exhibition Strindberg held in the same year. It was not a success; only two canvases were bought. Alone in Paris in the mid-1890s, Strindberg became interested in alchemy and tried to prove that it is possible to make gold. He was permitted to work in the laboratory of the Sorbonne, and his paper on the nature of sulphur was reported in Le Petit Temps (January 30, 1895). For a time he was respected by the scientific community. He was also interested in monkeys, developing a theory that the gorilla was descended from a shipwrecked sailor and an ordinary female monkey.

For his neighbor, Paul Gauguin, Strindberg wrote a an insightful letter which the artist uses as a preface to his catalogue. "I cannot grasp your art and I cannot like it," Strindberg said. "But I know that this confession will neither surprise nor injure you, for you seem to me to be thoroughly fortified by the hatred of others; in its desire to be left alone, your character takes pleasure in the antipathy that it provokes." (Paul Gauguin: The Calm Madman by Beril Becker, 1935, p. 259) After stopping painting in 1905, Strindberg built with the photographer Herman Andersson the "Wunderkamera", with which he made photographic portraits.

In the novel I havsbandet (1890, By the Open Sea) Strindberg expressed his fascination with the sea and Swedish archipelago, which he had depicted in Hemsöborna (1887, The Natives of Hemsö), a return to his favorite place of his youth, the island of Kymmendö, where he had began to write Mäster Olaf. "Now a dark cliff appeared behind the headland of the last rocky island. It was coal-black, the effect of the volcanic mineral diorite. As he drew near, a feeling of uneasiness came over him. The black, chrystallised mass looked as if it had been thrown up from the bottom of the sea, and as soon as it had begun to grow rigid, engaged in a titanic fight with the water, or a thunder-cloud, for it was split into eight parts; sea and ice had washed away the fragments; or, perhaps, they had sunk to the bottom of the sea." (By the Open Sea by August Strindberg, translated by Ellie Schleussner, 1913, p. 104)

Strindberg moved to Stockholm and wrote during the following productive years from 1898 to 1909 thirty-six plays. In the Damascus trilogy 1898-1901, Påsk (1901, Easter), and Ett drömspel (1901, A Dream Play) Strindberg made use of details of his second marriage. The protagonist of the trilogy is called the 'Stranger' or 'The Unknown One,' a man on a journey to discover his fate. He has left his wife and children and goes through a series of trials. Påsk dealt with the theme of death and resurrection: a woman lives with her children in fear of the coming of the creditor, who, in fact, brings reconciliation and the remission of debt.

"Every beginner seems to me to be able to write one good act; in that one he is true to life, every word is straightforward, and the action is honest. As soon as he embarks on the writing of long plays, everything becomes labored, contrived, affectedm and false."
('On Modern Drama and Modern Theatre' by August Strindberg, translated by Børge Gedsø
Madsen, in Playwrights on Playwriting: From Ibsen to Ionesco, edited by Toby Cole, 2001, p. 20)

In A Dream Play Strindberg attempted to imitate the logical form of a dream. Time and space are not important in the dramaturgy, the characters split, all thoughts and perceptions emanate from a single individual's unconscious, the dreamer's. Behind the character of the luminous protagonist, Daughter of Indra, who descends to earth, was the young actress Harriet Bosse, who became the author's third wife. The emphasis on subjectivity in the play foreshadowed Freud's theories about the gap between the conscious and unconscious.

Strindberg's series of historical plays from this period included Gustav Vasa (1899), Erik XIV (1899), a portrait of a man who was half-genius, half-psychopath, and Gustaf Adolf (1900), said to be unplayable, in which the king is an instument of the ideal of religious freedom. In the novel Svarta fanor (1904, Black Banners) Strindberg took his revenge after decades of negative critic and condemned with a Biblical fury his colleagues, wrong prophets, and parasites of culture. Strindberg continued his religious and natural philosophical speculations in Zones of the Spirit (1907-1912) and its sequels. Götiska rummen (1904) was written as a companion piece to Röda rummet from 1879, but Strindberg's youthful vigour had gone, and had been replaced by bitterness and misantrophy.

During 1907-08 Strindberg undertook a series of experiments in order to establish an intimate theater, based on his innovations on the form of chamber music. He discharged the single protagonist in favor of a small group of equally important characters, creating a drama that would impress by its mood and atmosphere. In contrast to the ill and corrupt characters who people the dramas, Strindberg created an individual, who is capable of perceiving supernatural phenomena, and of stripping away the facades of lies and deceits.

Among Strindberg's works from 1907 were such chamber plays as Oväder (1906, The Thunderstorm), Brända tomten (1907, After the Fire), in which everything is worse that the protagonist expects, Spöksonaten (1907, The Ghost Sonata), an unmasking of a middle-class pretensions, and Pelikanen (1908, The Pelican), in which the final purgation happens through fire. Strindberg called his plays "kammerspiel" after Max Reinhardt's "Kammerspiel-Haus" in Berlin. Stora landsvägen (1909, The Great Highway) was Strindberg's final allegorical self-portrayal. Ofter characterized as the author's literary testament, Strindberg himself appeared in the figure of the hunter who climbs down from the mountain – like Zarathustra.

In 1908 Strindberg settled into a house he called "the Blue Tower" and lived there until his death from stomach cancer on May 14, 1912. According to his wish, Strindberg was buried beneath wooden crucifixes with the inscription O Crux Ave Spes Unica. Faithful to his role as an iconoclast and a disturber, Strindberg fuelled the so-called Strindberg Feud from 1910 to his death with a series of newspaper articles on social, literary, and political issues. His major adversary was Heidenstam, whom he called "Sweden's most unintelligent man." Strindberg described Heidenstam's friend, the critic and author Oscar Levertin as his "greatest enemy" in his Occult Diary. On the day when Levertin died, he noted that something that had been oppressing him had gone and he fell into a holiday mood.   

Like Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Strindberg never received the Nobel Prize for literature. He had high hopes in 1909 that he would receive the honor. For Strindberg's disappointment, Selma Lagerlöf won the Nobel. However, he had actively supported the Trade Union movement and was awarded its alternative Nobel Prize. The campaign to collect the money, that eventually amounted to 50,000 Swedish crowns, was denounced in the right-wing press. Strindberg wrote more than 70 plays as well as novels, short-stories and studies of Swedish history. His influnce has been wide. As a dramatist he was a source of inspiration to the German expressionists, and to Eugene O'Neill, Eugène Ionesco, and Tennessee Williams, and his impact is seen among others in the works of such playwrights as Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett, John Osborne, and John Arden.

Pär Lagerkvist said of Strindberg: "And it is a fact that he has meant the renewal of the modern drama, and thereby also the gradual renewal of the theatre. It is from him and through him that naturalism received the critical blow, even though it is also Strindberg who gave naturalism its most intense dramatic works." (Modern Theatre: Seven Plays and an Essay by Pär Lagerkvist, translated by Thomas R. Buckman, 1966, p. 24)

For further reading: Strindbergs Paintings by Göran Söderström (2024); Käre Strix! Broder Lars!: berättelsen om August Strindberg och Carl Larsson by Björn Meidal (2022); Strindberg and the Western Canon, ed. by Jan Balbierz (2020); Sekelskiftet 1900: August Strindberg och Sigmund Freud by Per Magnus Johansson (2020); August Strindberg and Visual Culture: The Emergence of Optical Modernity in Image, Text, and Theatre, edited by Jonathan Schroeder, Anna Westerståhl Stenport and Eszter Szalczer (2019); Action and Consequence in Ibsen, Chekhov and Strindberg by Zander Brietzke (2017); Strindbergs måleri by Göran Söderström (2017); Strindberg: A Life by Sue Prideaux (2012); Om Strindberg, ed. by Lena Einhorn (2010); August Strindberg: Painter, photographer, writer by Olle Granath (2005); The Psychology and the Grotesque in August Strindberg's The Ghost Sonata by Terry John Converse (1999); August Strindberg by Björn Meidal (1995); Harriet Bosse: Strindberg's Muse and Interpreter by C. Waal (1990); Strindberg as a Modern Poet by J.E. Bellquist (1986); Strindberg and Autobiography by M. Robinson (1986); The Novels of August Strindberg by E. Johanneson (1986); Strindberg by M. Meyer (1985); August Strindberg by M M.Morgan (1985); August Strindberg by O.G.H. Lagerkrantz (1984); The Greatest Fire: A Study of August Strindberg by B. Steene (1982); Strindbergian Drama: Themes and Structures by E. Tornqvist (1982); Strindberg and the Poetry of Myth by H. Carlson (1982); Strindberg as Dramatist by E. Sprinchorn (1982); August Strindberg by W. Johnson (1978); Strindberg's Inferno by G. Brandell (1974); August Strindberg by M. Lamm (1971); The Novels of August Strindberg by E. Johasseson (1968); Strindberg: An Introduction to His Life and Work by B.W. Mortenson and B.W. Downs (1949); The Strange Life of August Strindberg by E. Sprigg (1949); Strindberg by G.A. Campbell (1933); Strindberg's Dramatic Expressionism by C.E.W. Dahlstram (1930) - See: Zachris Topelius. Suom.: Teoksen Toteutuneista unelmia suomensi Yrjö Sirola, Neuvosto-Karjalaan vuonna 1918 paennut entinen kansanedustaja, jonka mukaan nimettiin Sirola-opisto. Avioelämää  (1907), suomentanut  Joel Lehtonen. Vieroksuttu, 1906; Vaiheita, 1907; Keikari sekä muita kertomuksia, 1911; Satuja, 1912; suom. Larin-Kyösti. Eri asein (1914), suom. Aarni Kouta. Yleisestä tyytymättömyydestä (1997) ilmestyi alunperin 1884 otsikolla "Om det allmänna missnöjet, dess orsaker och botemedel". 

Selected works:

  • Fritänkaren, 1869 (as Härved Ulf) [The Freethinker]
  • En namnsdagsgåva, 1869 [play; A Namesday Gift]
  • I Rom, 1870 [In Rome]
  • Hermione, 1870
  • Den fredlöse, 1871 (as Härved Ulf)
    - The Outlaw (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland, in Plays, 1912)
  • Mäster Olof, 1872
    - Master Olof (translated by Edwin Björkman, 1915; Walter Johnson, in The Vasa Trilogy, 1959)
    - Mestari Olavi (suom. Yrjö Koskelainen, 1909; Veijo Meri, 1978)
  • Anno fyrtioåtta, 1876-77 [The Year ´48] 
  • Från Fjärdingen och Svartbäcken, 1877 (shot stories)
  • Röda rummet, 1879
    - The Red Room (translated by Ellie Schleussner, 1913; Elizabeth Sprigge, 1967; Peter Graves, 2009)
    - Punainen huone: kuvauksia taiteilija- ja kirjailijaelämästä (suom. 1909; Viljo Kajava, 1939, rev. ed., 1960)
  • Gillets hemlighet, 1880 [The Secret of the Guild]
  • Gamla Stockholm, 1882 [Old Stockholm]
  • Lycko-Pers resa, 1882
    - Lucky Pehr (translated by Velma Swanston Howard, 1913) / Lucky Per's Journey (translated by Arvid Paulson, in Eight Expressionist Plays, 1965)
    - Pietari Onnekas (suom. Tove Idström)
  • Svenska folket: i helg och söcken, i krig och fred, hemma och ute, eller, Ett tusen år av svenska bildningens och sedernas historia, 1882 [The Swedish People]
  • Det nya riket: skildringar från attentatens och jubelfeste, 1882
  • Svenska öden och äventyr, 1882-94 [Swedish Destinies and Adventures]
    - Menneiden vuosisatain vaiheita (suom. Santeri Ivalo, 1895)  / Onnellisten saari: kaksi kertomusta kokoelmasta "Svenska öden och äfventyr" (suom. Ilmari Ahma, 1912) / Onnellisten saari ja muita kertomuksia (suom. Antero Tiusanen, 1990)
  • Dikter på vers och prosa, 1883 [Poems in Verse and Prose]
  • Sömngångarnätter på vakna dagar, 1884 [Somnanbulist Nights in Broad Daylight]
  • Lilla katekes för underklassen, 1884 [A Little Cathecism for the Underclass]
  • Mitt Judehat, 1884 [My Anti-Semitism]
  • Giftas, 1884-85
    - Getting Married (edited and translated by Mary Sandbach, 1972)
    - Naimiskauppoja: avioliittotarinoita (suom. Topo Leistilä, 1933) / Naimakauppoja (suom. V.V. Vankkoja, 1947) / Avioelämää 1-2 (suom. Siimes Kanervio & Joel Lehtonen, 1907-1912) / Vihkimättä ja vihitty: kuunnelma (Utan vigsel och med; suom. V.V. Vankkoja, 1980)
    - film 1955, based on the short story 'Mot betalning', dir. by Anders Henrikson, starring Anita Björk, Anders Henrikson, Edvin Adolphson, Elsa Carlsson; film 1956, based on the short story 'Ett Dockhem, dir. by Anders Henrikson, starring Mai Zetterling, Gunnel Broström, George Fant
  • Utopier i verkligheten: fyra berattelser, 1885 [Utopias in Reality]
    - Toteutuneita unelmia (suom. Yrjö Sirola, 1907)
  • Jäsningstiden: en själs utvecklingshistoria, 1867-1872, 1886 [The Growth of a Soul]
  • I Röda rummet, 1886 [In the Red Room]
  • Tjänstekvinnans son, 1886
    - The Son of a Servant (translated by Claud Field, 1913)
    - Palkkapiian poika 1-2 (suom. Kristiina Kivivuori, 1965)
  • Sista ordet i kvinnofrågan, 1886 [Final Word on the Woman Question]
  • Marodörer, 1887 [Marauders]
  • Kamraterna, 1887
    - Comrades (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland, in Plays, 1912; Michael Meyer, in The Plays of Strindberg, 1976)
  • Fadren, 1887
    - The Father (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland, in Plays, 1912; Valborg Anderson, 1964; Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Walter Johnson, in Pre-Inferno Plays, 1970; Michael Robinson, in Miss Julie and Other Plays, 1998; N. Erichsen, 2010)
    - Isä (suom. Yrjö Koskelainen, 1909)
    - film 1969, dir. by Alf Sjöberg, Georg Rydeberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Lena Nyman, Jan-Olof Strandberg
  • Hemsöborna, 1887
    - The People of Hemsö (translated by Elspeth Harley Schubert, 1959) / The Natives of Hemsö (translated by Arvid Paulson, 1967)
    - Hemsöläiset: saaristolaiskertomus (suom. Arkadius, 1895; Tauno Tainio, 1929)
    - films: 1944, dir. by Sigurd Wallén, starring Adolf Jahr, Dagmar Ebbesen, Peter Höglund, Sigurd Wallén; 1955 dir. by Arne Mattsson, starring, Erik Strandmark, Hjördis Petterson, Nils Hallberg, John Norrman, Ulla Sjöblom, Birgitta Pettersson
  • En dåres försvarstal / Le plaidoyer d'un fou, 1887
    - A Madman’s Defence (translated Ellie Schleussner, 1912) / A Madman’s Manifesto (translated by Anthony Swerling, 1971 )
    - Hullun puolustuspuhe (suom. Kyllikki Villa, 1979)
  • Vivisektioner, 1887-1890 [Vivisections]
  • Fröken Julie, 1888
    - Countess Julie (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland, in Plays, 1912;  Charles Recht, 1912 ) / Miss Julie (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Second Series, 1913;  E. M. Sprinchorn, 1961; Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Michael Robinson, in Miss Julie and Other Plays, 1998; Max Faber, in Miss Julie & Other Plays, 1960;  Truda Stockenstrom, 1996; Carl Richard Mueller, in Five Major Plays, 2000; Frank McGuinness, 2003) / Lady Julie (translated by Walter Johnson, in Pre-Inferno Plays, 1970)
    - Neiti Julie (suom. Helena Anhava, 1988)
    - films: Fräulein Julie, 1922, dir. by Felix Basch, starring Asta Nielsen, William Dieterle, Lina Lossen; 1951, dir. by Alf Sjöberg, starring Anita Björk, Ulf Palme, Märta Dorff, Lissi Alandh; 2000, dir. by Mike Figgs, staring Saffron Burrows, Peter Mullan, Marie Doyle Kennedy, Tam Dean Burn; 2009, dir. by Michael Margotta
  • Skärkarlsliv, 1888 [Life in the Skerries]
    - Saaristolaiselämää (suom. Larin-Kyösti, 1919)
  • Tschandala: berättelse från 1600-talet, 1888
    - Tschandala: A Novella (translated from the Swedish and with an introduction by Peter Graves, 2007)
    - Tscahndala (suom. Aarni Kouta, 1916)
  • Blomstermålningar och djur-stycken, 1888 [Flower Paintings and Animal Pieces]
  • Kvinnans underlägsenhet under mannen, 1888 [Woman's Inferiority to Man]
  • Paria, 1889
    - Paria (translated by Horace B. Samuel, 1914) / Pariah (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland, 1912; Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Second Series, 1913; Walter Johnson, in Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983
  • Samum, 1889
    - Simoom (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Third Series, 1913) / Simoon (translated by Horace B. Samuel, 1914; Walter Johnson, in Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983)
  • Hemsöborna, 1889 [play; The People of Hemsö]
  • Bland franska bönder, 1889 [Among French Peasants]
  • Den starkare, 1889
    - The Stronger (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland, in Plays, 1912; Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Second Series, 1913; Max Faber, in Miss Julie & Other Plays, 1960; Walter Johnson, in Pre-Inferno Plays, 1970; Carl Richard Mueller, in Five Major Plays, 2000; Frank McGuinness, 2003)
    - Voimakkaampi (suom. Tuija Rovamo, 1984)
    - film 1999, dir. by Minna Göransdotter, starring Barbora Kodetová, Petra Lustigova, Liliya Malkina , Jan Unger
  • Fordringsägare, 1890
    - The Creditor (translated by Francis J. Ziegler, 1910) / Creditors (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg:  Second Series, 1913; Max Faber, in Miss Julie & Other Plays, 1960; Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Walter Johnson, in Pre-Inferno Plays, 1970; William-Alan Landes, 2007) 
    - Velkojat (suom. Marja Rankkala, 1950)
    - film 1988, dir. by Stefan Böhm, Keve Hjelm, staring Bibi Andersson, Thomas Bolme, Keve Hjelm
  • I havsbandet, 1890
    - On the Seaboard: A Novel of the Baltic Islands (translated by Elizabeth Clarke Westergren, 1913) / By the Open Sea (translated by Ellie Schleussner, 1913; Mary Sandbach, 1984)
    - Ulkosaaristossa (suom. Antero Tiusanen, 1999)
  • Debet och kredit, 1892
    - Debit and Credit (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Third Series, 1913; Walter Johnson, in Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983)
  • Inför döden, 1892
    - Facing Death (translated by Velma Swanston Howard, 1907; Edith and Wärner Oland, in Plays, 1912; Walter Johnson, in Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983) 
  • Himmelrikets nycklar, 1892
    - The Keys of Heaven (translated by Arvid Paulson, in Eight Expressionist Plays, 1965)
  • Bandet, 1892
    - The Bond (translated by Walter Johnson, in Pre-Inferno Plays, 1970)
  • Första varningen, 1893
    - The First Warning (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Fouth Series, 1916; Walter Johnson, in Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983)
  • Leka med elden, 1893
    - Playing with Fire (translated by Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Walter Johnson, in Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983)
  • Antibarbarus, 1893 [Antibarbarus]
  • Moderskärlek, 1894
    - Motherlove (translated by Francis J. Ziegler, 1910) / Mother Love (translated by Walter Johnson, in Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983) 
    - Äidinrakkaus (suom. Taisto-Bertil Orsmaa, 1980)
  • Le soufre est-il un corps simple?, 1895 [Is Sulphur an Element?]
  • L'Avenir du soufre, 1895 [The Future of Sulphur]
  • On ljusvärkan vid forografering, 1896 [On the Action of Light in Photography]
  • Un Regard vers le ciel, 1896 [A Glance into Space]
  • L'irradiation et l'extension de l'âme, 1896 [The Irradiation and Extension of the Soul]
  • Synthè d'or, 1896 [The Synthesis of Gold]
  • Sylva Sylvarum, 1896 [Sylva Sylvarum]
  • Jardin des Plantes, 1896 [Jardin des Plantes]
  • Ockulta dagboken, 1896-1908
    - From an Occult Diary (translated by Mary Sandbach, 1979)
  • Synthèse de l'iode, 1897 [The Synthesis of Iodine]
  • Inferno, 1898
    - Inferno, Alone, and Other Writings (edited by Evert Sprinchorn, 1968) / Inferno; From an Occult Diary (translated by Mary Sandbach, 1979)
    - Inferno (suomennos ja selitykset: Mika A. Keränen, 2022)
  • Till Damaskus 1-3, 1898-1901
    - The Road to Damascus (translated by Graham Rawson, 1939) / To Damascus (translated by Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Arvid Paulson, in Eight Expressionist Plays, 1965; Walter Johnson, in Plays of Confession and Therapy, 1979)
  • Legender, 1898 
    -  Legends: Autobiographical Sketches (tr. 1912)
    - Legendoja (suom. Irmeli Niemi, 1972; Kauko Kare, 1988)
  • Advent, ett mysterium, 1898
    - Advent (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Third Series, 1913; Claud Field, 1914; Walter Johnson, in Dramas of Testimony, 1976)
  • Gustav Vasa, 1899
    - Gustavus Vasa (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Fouth Series, 1916) / Vasa (translated by Walter Johnson, in The Vasa Trilogy, 1959)
    - Kustaa Vaasa (suom. J.R. Pihlaja)
    - TV drama 1969, prod. Yleisradio (YLE), dir. by Mirjam Himberg, featuring Tauno Palo, Anja Pohjola, Arto Tuominen, Vesa Mäkelä
  • Erik XIV, 1899
    - Erik XIV (translated by Walter Johnson, in The Vasa Trilogy, 1959)
    - Erik XIV (suom. Wilho Ilmari)
    - films: Karin Månsdotter, 1954, dir. by Alf Sjöberg, starring Ulla Jacobsson, Jarl Kulle, Ulf Palme, Olof Widgren; TV drama 1965, prod. Yleisradion (YLE), dir. by Mirjam Himberg, featuring Lasse Pöysti, Liisamaija Laaksonen, Matti Oravisto
  • Gustaf Adolf, 1900
    - Gustav Adolf (translated by Walter Johnson, 1957)
    - Kustaa Adolf (suom.)
  • Brott och brott, 1900
    - There Are Crimes and Crimes (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Second Series, 1913; Walter Johnson, in Dramas of Testimony, 1976)
    - film 1928, dir. by Gustaf Molander, starring Lars Hanson, Elissa Landi, Ivan Hedqvist, Gina Manès
  • Dödsdansen 1-2, 1900
    - The Dance of Death (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg, 1912; Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Norman Ginsbury, 1966; Walter Johnson, in Dramas of Testimony, 1976; Arvid Paulson; 1976; Michael Robinson, in Miss Julie and Other Plays, 1998; Richard Greenberg, 2003)
    - Kuolemantanssi (suom. Lauri Sipari, 1997)
    - films: Danse de mort, 1948, dir. by Marcel Cravenne, starring Erich von Stroheim, María Denis, Jean Servais, Denise Vernac; 1969, dir. by David Giles, starring Laurence Olivier, Geraldine McEwan, Robert Lang, Janina Faye
  • Midsommar, 1900
    - Midsummertide (translated by Velma Swanston Howard, 1913) / In Midsummer Days, and Other Tales (translated by Ellie Schleussner, 1913)
    - Juhannuksen aikaan (suom. Tove Idström, 1985)
  • Kaspers Fet-Tisdag, 1900 [Casper's Shrove Tuesday]
  • Påsk, 1901
    - Easter (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland, in Plays, 1912;  Elizabeth Sprigge, 1949; Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Walter Johnson, in Dramas of Testimony, 1976)
  • Folkungasagan, 1901
    - The Saga of the Folkungs (translated by Walter Johnson, 1959)
  • Kristina, 1901
    - Queen Christina (translated by Walter Johnson, 1955)
  • Engelbrekt, 1901
    - Engelbrekt (translated by Walter Johnson, in The Saga of the Fokungs, 1959)
  • Carl XII, 1901
    - Charles XII (translated by Walter Johnson, 1955)
    - Kaarle XII (suom. Kaarle Halme, 1910)
  • Svanevit, 1901
    - Swanwhite (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Third Series, 1913)
  • Kronbruden, 1902
    - The Bridal Crown (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Fouth Series, 1916) / The Crownbride (translated by Walter Johnson, 1981)
    - Kruununmorsian (suom.)
  • Fagervik och Skamsund, 1902
    - Fair Haven and Foul Strand (tr. 1914)
  • Karantänmästarnas andra berättelse, 1902 [The Quarantine Master's Second Story]
  • Gustav III, 1902
    - Gustav III (translated by Walter Johnson, 1955)
    - Kustaa III (suom. Tyyni Tuulio)
    - TV drama, prod. Yleisradio (YLE), dir. by Mirjam Himberg, featuring Lasse Pöysti, Asta Backman, Joel Rinne, Matti Oravisto, Pehr-Olof Sirén
  • Ett drömspel, 1902
    - The Dream Play (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg, 1912) / A Dream Play (translated by Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Arvid Paulson, in Eight Expressionist Plays, 1965; Walter Johnson, 1973; Michael Robinson, in Miss Julie and Other Plays, 1998; Carl Richard Mueller, in Five Major Plays, 2000)
    - Uninäytelmä (suom.Viljo Kajava, 1955; Lauri Sipari, 1985; Jusa Peltoniemi, 2000)
    - film 1994, dir. by Unni Straume, starring Ingvild Holm, Bjørn Willberg Andersen, Bjørn Sundquist, Liv Ullmann, Bibi Andersson, Erland Josephson
  • Ensam, 1903
    - Alone (translated by Evert Sprinchorn, in Inferno, Alone, and Other Writings, 1968) / Days of Loneliness (translated by Arvid Paulson, 1971)
    - Yksin (suom. Laura Sorma, 1913) / Kaksi miesmonologia (suom. Antero Tiusanen, 2002)
  • Sagor, 1903
    - Tales (translated by L.J. Potts, 1930)
    - Satuja (suom. Larin Kyösti, 1912)
  • Näktergalen i Wittenberg, 1903
    - The Nightingale of Wittenberg (translated by Arvid Paulson, in World Historical Plays, 1970)
  • Världshistoriens mystik, 1903 [The Mysticism of World History]
  • Götiska rummen, 1904 [Gothic Rooms]
    - Götalaiset huoneet: sukutarinoita vuosisadan vaihteesta (suom. Aarni Kouta, 1911)
  • Historiska miniatyrer, 1905
    - Historical Miniatures (translated by Claud Field, 1913)
    - Historiallisia pienoiskuvia (suom. Kaapo Murros, 1911; Kauko Kare, 1985)
  • Taklagsöl, 1905
    - The Roofing Ceremony & The Silver Lake (translated by David Mel Paul and Margareta Paul, 1987)
    - Kaksi miesmonologia (suom. suomentanut Antero Tiusanen, 2002)
  • Ordalek och småkonst, 1905 [Word Play and Minor Art]
  • Hövdingaminnen, 1906 [Chieftain Memories]
  • Nya svenska öden, 1906 [New Swedish Destinies]
  • Oväder, 1906
    - The Thunderstorm (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Third Series, 1913) Storm Weather (tr. in The Chamber Plays, 1962 / Thunder in the Air (translated by Eivor Martinus, 1989)
  • Syndabocken, 1907
    - The Scapegoat (translated by Arvid Paulson, 1967)
    - Hyvien ihmisten kaupunki (suom. Kyllikki Villa, 1968)
  • Svarta fanor: Sedeskildringar fran sekelskiftet, 1907
    - Black Banners: Genre Scenes from the Turn of the Century (translated by Donald K. Weaver, 2010)
    - Mustat liput (suom. Kyllikki Villa, 1973)
  • Brända tomten, 1907
    - After the Fire (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Third Series, 1913) / The Burned House (tr. in The Chamber Plays, 1962)
    - Talo on palanut (suom. Tove Idström, 1984)
  • Spöksonaten, 1907
    - The Spook Sonata (translated by Edwin Björkman, in Plays by August Strindberg: Fouth Series, 1916) / The Ghost Sonata (translated by Max Faber, Miss Julie & Other Plays, 1960; Evert Sprinchorn, Seabury Quinn, Jr., and Kenneth Petersen, in The Chamber Plays, 1962; Michael Meyer, in The Plays, 1964-75; Arvid Paulson, in Eight Expressionist Plays, 1965; Michael Robinson, in Miss Julie and Other Plays, 1998; Carl Richard Mueller, in Five Major Plays, 2000)    
    - Aavesonaatti (suom. Jouko ja Maija-Liisa Turkka, 1984)
  • Toten-Insel, 1907
    - The Isle of the Dead (translated by Richard B. Vowles, 1962)
  • Blå boken, 1907-1912 (4 vols.)
    - Zones of the Spirit: A Book of Thoughts (translated by Claud Field, 1913)
  • Siste riddaren, 1908
    - The Last of the Knights (translated by Walter Johnson, 2. pr., 1967)
  • Riksföreståndaren, 1908
    - The Regent (translated by Walter Johnson, 2. pr., 1967)
  • Öppna brev till Intima teatern, 1908
    - Open Letters to the Intimate Theater (translated by Walter Johnson, 1959)
  • Bjälbo-Jarlen, 1908
    - Earl Birger of Bjälbo (translated by Walter Johnson,  2. pr., 1967)
  • Abu Casems tofflor, 1908 [play; Aby Casem's Slippers]
  • Pelikanen, 1908
    - The Pelican (translated by Evert Sprinchorn, Seabury Quinn, Jr., and Kenneth Petersen, in The Chamber Plays, 1962; Richard B. Vowles, 1962)
    - Pelikaani (suom. Tove Idström, 1984)
  • Svarta handsken, 1908 [play; The Black Glove]
  • Stora landsvägen, 1909
    - The Great Highway (translated by Arvid Paulson, in Eight Expressionist Plays, 1965; Eivor Martinus, 1990)
    - Suuri maantie: Vaellusdraama, jossa on seitsemän pysähdyspaikkaa (suom. Toini Havu, 1967)
  • Fabler och smärre berättelser, 1909 [Fables and Shorter Tales]
  • Tal till svenska nationen, 1910 [Speeches to the Swedish Nation]
  • Folkstaten, 1910 [The People's State]
  • Religiös renässans, 1910 [Religious Renaisssance]
  • Bibliska egennamn, 1910 [Biblical Proper Names]
  • Modersmålets anor, 1910 [The Origins of Our Mother Tongue]
  • Världsspråkens rötter, 1911 [The Roots of World Language]
  • Plays: The Father; Countess Julie; The Outlaw; The Stronger, 1912 (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland)
  • Plays: Comrades; Facing Death; Pariah; Easter, 1912 (translated by Edith and Wärner Oland)
  • Tsarens kurir, 1912 [The Tsar's Courier]
  • Plays by August Strindberg, 1912-16 (7 vols., translated by Edwin Björkman)
  • Plays by August Strindberg, Second Series, 1913 (translated by Edwin Björkman)
  • Plays by August Strindberg: Third Series, 1913 (translated by Edwin Björkman)
  • Samlade skrifter, 1912-20 (55 vols., edited by John Landqvist)
  • Plays by August Strindberg: Fouth Series, 1916 (translated by Edwin Björkman)
  • Samlade otryckta skrifter, 1918-19 (2 vols.)
  • Skrifter, 1945-46 (14 vols., edited by Gunnar Brandell)
  • Strindbergs ungdomsjournalistik i urval, 1946 (edited by Torsten Eklund)
  • Från Fjärdingen till Blå Tornet, 1947 (edited by Torsten Eklund)
  • Brev, 1948 (15 vols.)
  • [The Washington Strindberg], 1955-83 (12 vols., edited and translated by Walter Johnson; publisher: University of Washington Press, Seattle)
  • Six Plays of Strindberg: The Father, Miss Julie, The Stronger, Easter, A Dream Play, The Ghost Sonata, 1955 (translated by Elizabet Sprigge)
  • Letters of Strindberg to Harriet Bosse, 1959 (edited and translated by Arvid Paulson)
  • The Vasa Trilogy: Master Olof, Gustav Vasa, Erik XIV, 1959 (translated by Walter Johnson)
  • Seven Plays, 1960 (translated by Arvid Paulson, introd. and prefaces by John Gassner)
  • Miss Julie & Other Plays, 1960 (translated by Max Faber)
  • Brev till min dotter Kerstin, 1961 (edited by  Tor Bonnier och Åke Thulstrup)
  • Twelve Plays, 1962 (translated by Elizabeth Sprigge)
  • The Chamber Plays, 1962 (translated by Evert Sprinchorn, Seabury Quinn, Jr., and Kenneth Petersen)
  • Ur ockulta dagboken: äktenskapet med Harriet Bosse, 1963 (edited by Torsten Eklund)
    - Salatusta päiväkirjasta: August Strindbergin avioliitto Harriet Bossen kanssa (suom. sekä selityksin ja esipuhein varustanut Jyrki Mäntylä, 1966)
  • The Plays, 1964-75 (2 vols., translated by Michael Meyer)
  • Eight Expressionist Plays, 1965 (translated by Arvid Paulson)
  • The Strindberg Reader, 1968 (translated and edited by Arvid Paulson)
  • Klostret, 1966
    - The Cloister (translated by Mary Sandbach, 1969)
    - Luostari (suom. Kyllikki Villa, 1970)
  • Strindberg's One-Act Plays, 1969 (translated by Arvid Paulson, introd. by Barry Jacobs)
  • August Strindberg, Pre-Inferno Plays, 1970 (translated by Walter Johnson)
  • Three Experimental Plays, 1975 (translated with an introd. by F. R. Southerington)
  • The Plays of Strindberg, 1976 (2 vols., translated by Michael Meyer)
  • Dramas of Testimony, 1976 (translated by Walter Johnson)
  • Plays of Confession and Therapy, 1979 (translated by Walter Johnson)
  • Samlade verk, 1980- (edited by Lars Dahlback, et al.)  
  • Plays from the Cynical Life, 1983 (translations and introduction by Walter Johnson)
  • Strindberg's Letters, 1992 (edited by Michael Robinson)
  • Selected Essays by August Strindberg, 1996 (edited by Michael Robinson)
  • Miss Julie and Other Plays, 1998 (translated by Michael Robinson)
  • Vänligen August Strindberg:  ett år, ett liv i brev, 1999 (edited by  Björn Meidal & Carl Olof Johansson)
  • Köra och vända: Strindbergs efterlämnade papper, 1999 (edited by Magnus Florin and Ulf Olsson)
  • Min eld är den största: brev 1858-1912, 1999 (edited by Kerstin Dahlbäck)
  • Brev: 1884-1890 / Verner von Heidenstam, August Strindberg, 1999 (edited by Magnus von Platen and Gudmund Fröberg)
  • August Strindberg: Five Major Plays, 2000 (translated by Carl Richard Mueller)
  • Strindbergs brev. XXI Supplement 1857-1893, 2001
  • Strindbergs brev. XXII Supplement 1893-1912, 2001
  • Strindberg: målaren och fotografen, 2001 (ed. Per Hedström)
    - Strindberg: Painter and Photographer (catalogue editor, Per Hedström, 2001)
  • Selected Poems of August Strindberg, 2002 (edited and translated by Lotta M. Löfgren)
  • Jag har alltid tillbett kvinnorna, dessa förtjusande brottsliga tokor: valda noveller, brev och andra texter, 2005 (selected by Peter Glas)
  • Strindberg on Drama and Theatre: A Source Book, 2007 (selected, translated, and edited by Egil Törnqvist and Birgitta Steene)
  • Språkvetenskapliga skrifter. 1-2, 2009 (edited by Camilla Kretz and Bo Ralph)
  • Naturvetenskapliga skrifter. I, Antibarbarus; Sylva Sylvarum; Jardin des Plantes, 2010 (edited by Per Stam)
  • The Defence of a Madman, 2014 (translated from the French with a translators' afterword by Carol Sanders and Janet Garton; introduction by Anna Westerståhl Stenport)
  • Hemlig skrifvelse: brev 1858-1912, 2019 (i urval och med kommentar av Kerstin Dahlbäck)
  • Köra och vända: Strindbergs efterlämnade papper, 2020 (i urval av Magnus Florin & Ulf Olsson)
  • Gustav III: fyra akter (utan tablåer), 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Karl XII: skådespel i fem tablåer, 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Röda rummet: skildringar ur artist- och författarlivet, 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Hemsöborna, 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Dikter på vers och prosa, 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Dödsdansen, 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Spöksonaten, 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Ett drömspel, 2021 (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • Giftas: tolv äktenskapshistorier med intervju och förord I-II (Publicerad: The Sublunar Society)
  • The Occult Diary: Paris 1896-Stockholm 1908, 2022 (editors: Per Stam, Ann-Charlotte Gavel Adams and Gunnel Engwall; translation from the Swedish: Karin Petherick; revision: Ann-Charlotte Gavel Adams and Anders Hallengren)

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