Plays of Confession and Therapy: To Damascus, I; To Damascus, II; To Damascus, III

Plays of Confession and Therapy: To Damascus, I; To Damascus, II; To Damascus, III

Plays of Confession and Therapy: To Damascus, I; To Damascus, II; To Damascus, III

Plays of Confession and Therapy: To Damascus, I; To Damascus, II; To Damascus, III

Excerpt

It may be that all human beings have road-to-Damascus experiences somehow reminiscent of those recorded in chapter 9 of Acts. Certainly Strindberg believed that he had as much right as Saul/Paul to consider his conversion from atheism (or agnosticism) to Strindbergian Christianity (his own brand of providentialism and syncretism) the result of definite intervention and pressure from God (the Eternal One). During his Inferno Period (1894-97), he had kept careful account of his experiences, real and imagined, in his daybook, and after the period was pretty well over, he had selected and arranged the material recorded in his daybook and his memory in Inferno, Legends, and Jacob Resists, autobiographical reports on those experiences, with emphasis placed on what had taken place as changed in his mind, his thought, and his imagination, and complemented by recollections of his pre-Inferno years (1849- 93) as recorded in his thoroughly human and therefore imperfect memory.

In early 1898, and probably late in 1897 when he returned to the writing of drama for the stage, Strindberg knew he had extremely rich material to exploit, and, apparently, he had no hesitation about adopting a form different from those used by any of his predecessors or contemporaries in the theater. In the explanatory note prefaced to A Dream Play (1901), he gave this definition of his own term for the new drama, "dream play":

In this DREAM PLAY as in his earlier dream plays To Damascus, the author has tried to imitate the disconnected but apparently logical form of a dream. Everything can happen; everything is possible and likely. Time and space do not exist; on an insignificant basis of reality . . .

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