Artwork Title: August Strindberg - Artist Name: Christian Krohg

August Strindberg

Christian Krohg

It’s fair to say that August Strindberg has a bit of an image problem. A prolific and versatile writer – he didn’t just write plays, but novels, polemical tracts, autobiography, journalism – he’s known in Britain for a handful of spiky plays (including Miss Julie, The Father, and The Dance of Death) which have a habit of ending with someone either going mad or killing themselves. The articulate venom his characters employ in poisoning each others’ lives makes Ibsen look, frankly, Scandinavian lite – and indeed there was no love lost between the two dramatists (Ibsen hung a brooding portrait of Strindberg above his desk and wrote: “He is my mortal enemy, and shall hang there and watch while I write”). (
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