The Inferno

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Overview

An American critic says "Strindberg is the greatest subjectivist of all time." Certainly neither Augustine, Rousseau, nor Tolstoy have laid bare their souls to the finest fibre with more ruthless sincerity than the great Swedish realist. He fulfilled to the letter the saying of Robertson of Brighton, "Woman and God are two rocks on which a man must either anchor or be wrecked." His four autobiographical works, The Son of a Servant, The Confessions of a Fool, Inferno, and Legends, are four segments of an immense ...
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The Inferno

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Overview

An American critic says "Strindberg is the greatest subjectivist of all time." Certainly neither Augustine, Rousseau, nor Tolstoy have laid bare their souls to the finest fibre with more ruthless sincerity than the great Swedish realist. He fulfilled to the letter the saying of Robertson of Brighton, "Woman and God are two rocks on which a man must either anchor or be wrecked." His four autobiographical works, The Son of a Servant, The Confessions of a Fool, Inferno, and Legends, are four segments of an immense curve tracing his progress from the childish pietism of his early years, through a period of atheism and rebellion, to the sombre faith in a "God that punishes" of the sexagenarian. In his spiritual wanderings he grazed the edge of madness, and madmen often see deeper into things than ordinary folk. At the close of the Inferno he thus sums up the lesson of his life's pilgrimage: "Such then is my life: a sign, an example to serve for the improvement of others; a proverb, to show the nothingness of fame and popularity; a proverb, to show young men how they ought not to live; a proverb-because I who thought myself a prophet am now revealed as a braggart."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781493713721
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 11/8/2013
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,247,719
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Read an Excerpt


II ST. LOUIS LEADS ME TO ORFILA Through the whole winter I continue my chemical experiments in a modestly furnished room, remain all day at home, and go to my evening meal in a restaurant where artists of different nationalities meet. Afterwards I visit the family, whose society, through a momentary fit of puritanism, I had abjured. The whole noisy set of artists are there, and I am compelled to put up with what I would fain avoidfree and easy manners, loose morals, deliberate and fashionable irreligion. There is much talent and quickness of wit among these people, together with a flow of wild spirits which has won them a sinister reputation. At any rate, I am in a domestic circle; they are kind to me and I am grateful to them, although I shut my eyes and ears to their little affairs which, after all, have nothing to do with me. Had I avoided these people out of unjustifiablepride, it would have been logical to punish me for it, but as my avoidance of them sprang from a desire to purify myself and to deepen my spiritual life in self-communion, I do not understand the ways of Providence, for I am a man--j of such pliable character, that out of pure sociability and fear of being ungrateful, I accommodate myself to my surroundings whatever they are. But after I had been banished so long from society, through my misfortune and the shame of my poverty, I was glad to find a shelter for the long winter evenings, although the lubricous conversation annoyed me. JNow that the existence of the invisible Hand, which guides me over rough paths, has become a certainty to me, I no longer feel solitary] and keep a careful watch over my words and actions, although, it must be confessed, I am notalways successful. But whenever I slip, I am at once arrested and punished with such punctualit...
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