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Strindberg Plays (Paper) (Anglais) Broché – 1 juillet 1992

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25 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
the best introduction to Strindberg's world 11 octobre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a pretty decent translation and an outstanding point of departure for Strindberg's strange, strange dramatic world. I speak and read Swedish and have studied Strindberg in some depth, but I still find this an evocative and stimulating collection.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
"Since dreams are more often painful than happy..." 19 février 2003
Par frumiousb - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In the author's introduction to "A Dream Play", Strindberg focuses on what he sees as the real nature of dreams-- disconnected and painful, with their own strange logic. I think he captures something of that feeling in all of the five plays in this collection, even given that some of his plays come more explicitly from his symbolic works.

In this collection, the reader is presented with the classic Strindberg themes-- the emancipated woman, rebellion, religious symbolism, and always in every way the search for meaning.

"The Father" pits a man and woman against each other in a destructive effort to control their daughter's destiny.

"Miss Julie" depicts the seduction and discard of a silly young girl who is harshly confronted with the basic coldness of life.

"Dance of Death" is a grim look at a marriage based on hatred, as an ex-actress and an army captain are stuck together on an isolated island.

In "A Dream Play" Indra's daughter is sent to earth to live as best as she can among mortals.

"The Ghost Sonata" explores dream logic in three movements. A meditation on the difference between just and proper.

A decent translation, at least I did not trip over it as awkward. A sad and dislocating book to read. There is a debate to be had about whether plays in general are worth reading as literature, or whether they need to be seen as performance. I would argue that these plays are both a joy to read and a joy to see.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Compelling Drama 10 janvier 2011
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This is a good collection of Stringberg's plays. The five plays here are the big ones, i.e., the most produced, anthologized, influential, and read. They break down into two styles: The Father, Miss Julie, and The Dance of Death are naturalistic drama's about interpersonal battles, and The Ghost Sonata and A Dream Play are experimental, surreal dramas (though they contain aggressive, vengeful behaviour too).

The Dance of Death is my favorite. In it an older couple, Edgar, aka Captain, and his wife Alice live on an island and their cousin Kurt, who they haven't seen in several years, comes to visit. He finds them combative and mean. As the play goes along they come to seem monstrous. Alice and Edgar, like many of Strindberg's characters, are stuck in a poisonous relationship. They torment each other with verbal jabs, they're competitive, they demean each other. But somehow they're stuck together, "we are welded together and can't break free", Alice says.

Here's the Captain, who earlier in the play has become ill and is starting to fall unconscious sporadically, "I'll not die that easily, believe you me. Don't start celebrating yet, Alice!"

Like all of Strindberg's best plays, The Dance of Death is a compelling read. The characters are bitter, hostile people, but they're also completely recognizable. The play starts off simply, just an old couple spending a dull night together, but it builds up gradually. By the end it seems epic, Shakespearean even.

I'm a big fan but I'll admit, Strindberg can be hard going at first. It's sometimes hard to understand the characters - they lie to each other, they're often paranoid. It took me a while to *get* Strindberg but he's in my pantheon now. Highly recommended.
Men and Women at War 15 avril 2015
Par David Valentino - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
From this collection, this review covers The Father.

August Strindberg is among the most influential dramatists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, an influence you can see in Eugene O'Neill, Edward Albee, and others. Strindberg strove to portray life on stage as he saw it, in the most real and natural ways he could manage. While probably best known for Miss Julie (staged, adapted, and filmed numerous times since its first production in 1889, with the latest a film by Liv Ullmann starring Jessica Chastain), Strindberg authored scores of plays, as well as a long list of commentary, novels, and poetry. Among them is The Father, appearing one year before Miss Julie.

You'll find The Father a tightly focused example of the naturalistic style that employs some keen psychological insights, as well as exhibiting Darwinian influences that were prominent among 19th century writers and thinkers. You'll also see why many regard Strindberg as a misogynist, as the entire play spins around this utterance by the Captain's wife Laura: "Love between a man and woman is war." (Act 2, Carlson translation) This comes as he bares his soul to her and she drives him into extreme mental distress. It might be useful to know that Strindberg tormented himself with thoughts of his own unhappy childhood, and was going through a divorce from his first wife, Siri von Essen, with whom he had two daughters and a son (one of three marriages that produced five children in total, four girls and a boy), at the time he wrote The Father.

In summary, the play in three acts shows how Laura proves her superiority over her husband, the Captain, by convincing every one around them, including his childhood nurse who lives with them (that in itself makes a statement), that he is mad. Of course, the word "superiority" perhaps isn't quite what Strindberg had in mind; more like how conniving, duplicitous, and untrustworthy women are. Not to mention unscrupulous, as Laura leverages the question of their daughter Bertha's paternity to drive the Captain into violent apoplexy. It's really quite stunning.

Now, if the idea of misogyny puts you off, consider the other truth about Strindberg. He was a rebel of sorts, a man who saw and excoriated in his writing the hypocrisy of the times with regard to many things, including women. This is why in the same play about a wife waging war with her husband over the control of their child, you'll find both ideas expressed:

Captain (speaking of daughter Bertha): "Don't think I want to make her into some sort of prodigy or copy of myself. The fact is, I don't want to be a pimp for my own daughter by raising her to be fit for nothing but marriage...." (Act 1, Carlson)

Later, after Laura has thoroughly crushed him (responding to Laura's line, "Do you think I'm your enemy?): "Yes, I do. I think you're all my enemies. First, there was my mother, who didn't want me because my birth would cause her pain, and so she starved herself and I was born half crippled....The first woman I slept with was my enemy when she gave me ten years of illness in return for the love I gave her. My daughter became my enemy when she had to choose between you and me. And you, my wife, were my mortal enemy, because you wouldn't leave me alone until you had me lying here dead!" (Act 3, Carlson)

The Father, though written more than a century ago, still holds up well today and is worthy of your attention, especially if you have an interest in theater and literature. A more current translation, such as Carlson, is preferable to something older (such as the Olands) because of currency of modern expression.
13 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Ghost Sonata: beautiful and haunting 22 août 1999
Par S. Clark - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The Ghost Sonata is one of the most beautiful and haunting works I have ever experienced.
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