Locating August Strindberg's Prose: Modernism, Transnationalism, and Setting

Locating August Strindberg's Prose: Modernism, Transnationalism, and Setting

by Anna Westerstahl Stenport

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The setting of a novel is more than just an anonymous, interchangeable backdrop. In Locating August Strindberg's Prose, Anna Westerståhl Stenport argues that spatial setting is a key - though often neglected - tool for exploring the fundamentals of European literary modernism.

Stenport examines the importance of location by exploring the prose of Swedish exile August Strindberg (1849-1912), challenging previous studies of the author that have focused on identity and subject formation. Strindberg wrote in both Swedish and French, situating his stories in various places across Europe - from Berlin to the French countryside, the Austrian Alps, and Stockholm - to purposely destabilize concepts of national belonging, language, and literary history. Close readings of Strindberg's prose find that his boundary-challenging narratives redefine and rewrite the meaning of a marginal literary identity. By contextualizing Strindberg against other early modernists, including Kafka, Conrad, Rilke, and Breton, Stenport emphasizes the burgeoning transnationality of literature at the turn of the last century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442660403
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Anna Westerstahl Stenport is Associate Professor and Director of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Illinois. She is the author or editor of numerous publications about modern Scandinavian literature, culture, film, media, and drama, including Lukas Moodysson's Show Me Love (2012) and The International Strindberg: New Critical Essays (2012).

Table of Contents


  1. National Betrayal: Public, Private, and Railway Travel: A Madman’s Defence
  2. Rural Modernism: Ethnography, Photography, and Recollection: Among French Peasants
  3. Parisian Streets, Pre-Surrealism, and Pastoral Landscapes: Inferno
  4. Speed, Displacements, and Berlin Modernity: The Cloister
  5. Recording, Habitation, and Colonial Imaginations: The Roofing Ceremony

What People are Saying About This

Mark Wollaeger

'A superb study of Strindberg as a crucial European modernist whose prose has been overlooked for too long, Locating August Strindberg's Prose also makes a strong case for transnationalism as the foundation of European modernism. This is required reading for anyone interested in the relations between modernism and transnationalism, comparative modernisms, and the new spatial turn in modernist studies, and will appeal to those engaged by a great writer whose texts challenge the link between author and national tradition on which so much scholarship still relies.'

Ross Shideler

'Locating August Strindberg's Prose is both thoughtful and stimulating. Anna Westerståhl Stenport succeeds, as no one else has before her, in convincing the reader that Strindberg's prose can and should be read as a powerful contributor to European modernism. Her use of his transnational, multilingual identity and her analysis of the prose texts that he created during his travels are genuinely insightful and original.'

Ulf Olsson

'Locating August Strindberg's Prose is a fascinating and probing study on the prose of August Strindberg, one of the most radical protagonists of Modernist literature. Anna Westerståhl Stenport combines a broad historical perspective with minute analysis as she focuses on and maps such aspects of modernity as railway travel, divorce, photography, city streets, and phonographs. By following the geographically peripheral August Strindberg on his way to the well-known literary centers of Berlin and Paris, Westerståhl Stenport successfully puts across her idea of modernism as rural and colonial, situated and displaced, transforming modernism into a plurality of modernisms. This book forms an original and thought-provoking argument about the Modernist as a transnational writer.'

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