August Strindberg: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

August Strindberg

1st Edition

By Eszter Szalczer


220 pages

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pub: 2010-10-27
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Dramatist, theatre practitioner, novelist, and painter, August Strindberg’s diverse dramatic output embodied the modernist sensibility. He was above all one of the most radical innovators of Western theatre.

This book provides an insightful assessment of Strindberg’s vital contribution to the dramatic arts, while placing his creative process and experimental approach within a wider cultural context. Eszter Szalczer explores Strindberg’s re-definition of drama as a fluid, constantly evolving form that profoundly influenced playwriting and theatrical production from the German Expressionists to the Theatre of the Absurd. Key productions of Strindberg’s plays are analysed, examining his theatre as a living voice that continues to challenge audiences, critics, and even the most innovative directors.

August Strindberg provides an essential and accessible guide to the playwright’s work and illustrates the influence of his drama on our understanding of contemporary theatre.

Table of Contents


Part I

Versions of a life

1 Problematics of biography vs. autobiography

2 Between fiction and reality

Part II

A life in the theatre

3 The Scandinavian Experimental Theatre

4 Strindberg and the Independent Theatre Movement: the first productions

5 Strindberg and stagecraft: theory and practice

6 The Intimate Theatre

Part III

Key plays

7 Naturalism and the modern character

8 Dream-play dramaturgy and modernist allegories

9 The last sonatas

10 Modernizing history

Part IV

Key plays/productions

11 Miss Julie: from failed world premiere to worldwide acclaim

12 A Dream Play: from closet drama to post-modern performance

13 The Ghost Sonata and Strindberg’s haunting legacy

About the Author

Eszter Szalczer is Associate Professor of Theatre at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is the author of Writing Daughters: August Strindberg's Other Voices (2008), as well as numerous articles and book chapters on Strindberg both in English and Swedish.

About the Series

Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists

Routledge Modern and Contemporary Dramatists is a new series of innovative and exciting critical introductions to the work of internationally pioneering playwrights. The series includes well-established playwrights and offers primary materials on contemporary dramatists who are under-represented in secondary criticism. Each volume provides detailed cultural, historical and political material, examines selected plays in production, and theorises the playwright’s artistic agenda and working methods, as well as their contribution to the development of playwriting and theatre.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General