The Flower and the Castle: An Introduction to Modern Drama

By Maurice Valency | Go to book overview

Strindberg

IN his grander moments, Strindberg saw himself as the modern equivalent of the universal man of the Renaissance. Like Paracelsus, he had plumbed the mysteries of the universe; like Faust, he had trafficked with the dark powers; like Swedenborg, he had insight into the workings of the elemental forces. He was an alchemist, and made gold. He was a rebel who defied man, and bore the marks of his lifelong tussle with God. He was the great liberator of his time, a martyr and a messiah. His scope was vast; his ambitions, cosmic. The astonishing thing is that, in spite of all this, his capabilities were enormous. He was a megalomaniac who was, in fact, a genius.

Strindberg desired to know everything and to experience everything. After he became acquainted with Nietzsche, he came to the realization that he was a superman, and that his restlessness and his misery, as well as the hostility he invariably aroused in others, were the necessary consequences of his pre-eminence and his power. He had yet another aspect in which he manifested himself willingly

-238-

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The Flower and the Castle: An Introduction to Modern Drama
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Tragedy and Comedy 11
  • The New Drama 58
  • Realism 91
  • Ibsen 118
  • Strindberg 238
  • The Flower and the Castle 363
  • Notes 405
  • A Selected Bibliography 429
  • Index 445
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