Creditors and Pariah: Two Plays

Overview

Creditors and Pariah - Two Plays by August Strindberg

Translated From The Swedish, With Introductions By Edwin Bjorkman

Strindberg wrote Pariah along with his play Creditors in the town of Holte, Denmark during the winter of 1888 - 1889. He was in Denmark to create a theatre of his own, following the example he admired of the Theatre Libre in Paris, which had been founded two years earlier. Strindberg's theatre would present naturalistic plays,...

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Overview

Creditors and Pariah - Two Plays by August Strindberg

Translated From The Swedish, With Introductions By Edwin Bjorkman

Strindberg wrote Pariah along with his play Creditors in the town of Holte, Denmark during the winter of 1888 - 1889. He was in Denmark to create a theatre of his own, following the example he admired of the Theatre Libre in Paris, which had been founded two years earlier. Strindberg's theatre would present naturalistic plays, and the artistic director would be his wife, Siri von Essen. It was to be called "The Scandinavian Experimental Theatre", and then was renamed "Strindberg's Experimental Theatre". Beset with disasters, not the least of which was the censorship of his play, Miss Julie, the theatre had a tumultuous and extremely brief history. The theatre premiered in Holte on March 9, 1889 with a triple bill: Pariah, Creditors, and The Stronger. The evening was a success, with applause and curtain calls. Even harsh critics were won over, with the exception of a newspaper reviewer who demanded that Strindberg be deported. The performance was then repeated in the nearby Swedish town, Malmö.

In the audience at Malmo was Ola Hansson, who had just published a short story from which, Strindberg claimed in a program note, the title and theme of Pariah were taken. However, Hanssen said he didn't recognize anything of his original theme. Hanssen also reports that at this time he had lent Strindberg a book of mysteries by Edgar Allan Poe, and that Poe was a significant influence on Strindberg's writing at this time. A possible example of that influence, is that a scene of psychological detective work occurs in Poe's short story, "The Gold Bug", that appears to have inspired an episode in Pariah. Strindberg's original title for the play is "Paria", with its Hindu etymology. Some English translations use the title, "The Outcast", which, however, can be confused with an earlier play by Strindberg, "The Outlaw".

Important to Strindberg with this and other plays, such as Miss Julie and The Father, was his desire to achieve the ideals of Naturalism in drama as described and analyzed by the French author and theorist, Emile Zola - the nouvelle formule. Strindberg modeled Pariah on the Les Quarts d'Heure (1888) plays of the French writers Gustave Guiches and Henri Lavedan, which, in his essay "On Modern Drama and Modern Theatre", Strindberg describes as dramas reduced to a single scene.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781494323974
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 11/30/2013
  • Pages: 92
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Johan August Strindberg (22 January 1849 - 14 May 1912) was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography, history, cultural analysis, and politics. A bold experimenter and iconoclast throughout, he explored a wide range of dramatic methods and purposes, from naturalistic tragedy, monodrama, and history plays, to his anticipations of expressionist and surrealist dramatic techniques. From his earliest work, Strindberg developed innovative forms of dramatic action, language, and visual composition. He is considered the "father" of modern Swedish literature and his The Red Room (1879) has frequently been described as the first modern Swedish novel.
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