Strindberg, (Johan) August

Strindberg, (Johan) August

biographical name


Strindberg, lithograph by Edvard Munch, 1896—Courtesy of the Munch-Museet, Oslo; photograph, O. Vaering

(born Jan. 22, 1849, Stockholm, Swed.—died May 14, 1912, Stockholm) Swedish playwright and novelist. While working as a journalist, he wrote the historical drama Mäster Olof (1872); though rejected by the national theatre and not produced until 1890, it is now considered the first modern Swedish drama. He won fame with his novel The Red Room (1879), which satirized the Stockholm art world. His unhappy life included three marriages and episodes of mental instability. In his most creative period he moved restlessly around Europe for six years, writing his three major plays: The Father (1887), Miss Julie (1888), and The Creditors (1890). These iconoclastic works portrayed the battle of the sexes using a combination of dramatic naturalism and psychology. During this period he also wrote three novels. After a mental breakdown he experienced a religious conversion that inspired symbolic dramas such as The Dance of Death (1901), A Dream Play (1902), and five “chamber plays,” including The Ghost Sonata (1907).

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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