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Inferno / From an Occult Diary

de August Strindberg

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1502140,682 (4.15)2
Adicionado recentemente porYoxix, Giedrigiedra, noonaut, RafaelNery, D.Prisson, MWise, gordbarentsen, paul17, vucjipastir
Bibliotecas HistóricasGillian Rose

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Strindberg is one of the writers I'm most interested in, though I do not know if he deserves a spot as one of my favorite authors. He attained a legendary status in some parts, but his reputation also suffers a lot now from his obvious misogyny, his partial belief in alchemy, and general wacko-ness.

This "novel," Inferno, and the accompanying "diary" in this volume are a good sample of his vast body of work. If you do not enjoy this book, you will likely enjoy his other so-called masterpieces even less.

For myself, I was profoundly moved by his account, supposedly true, of one of the rockiest times of his tumultuous life. It became clear to me how important a figure Strindberg is in literature when I realized how closely Akutagawa followed his ideas and format in such works as "Spinning Gears."
Love him or hate him, Strindberg had a lot to say.

As you will come to find if you wade into the depths of this account, the author was not taken seriously in his own time, but no one took Strindberg more seriously than Strindberg. If you choose to believe his daydreams about lightning, mysterious occult figurines, messages transmogrified from higher powers, and the secret experiments of contemporaneous alchemists is up to you. But even if you don't, his perspective is highly intelligent and very entertaining.

There are humorous moments, but it is a sad humor. You see Strindberg struggle with his relationships, personal and professional. He feels like a fool, but realizes at the same time that he is, and must be, a sort of genius. He was convinced he was on his way to winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Not Literature, but Chemistry. As a reader, this sounds silly. The man was hailed as one of the greatest playwrights of all time by his European counterparts after the fact, and he's worried about his minor chemical experiments winning fame.

It is only through perusing some of Strindberg's other novels, like By the Open Sea and the 80 volumes he wrote, that the immensity of his accomplishment becomes clear. The man was a great thinker, but many of his thoughts were absurd. What is most enjoyable about this book is getting to know the author from his interior and exterior destructive descent, much like Dante's allegorical one. Akutagawa is a similar figure in my mind, a less productive, but more chiseled writer, who confronted the demons lurking within his own mind, only to lose the battle in the end.

It does not take skill to be tormented, but to craft a moral existence, amid the chaos and ruins of his creative endeavors, to tower above other writers with his ambition and the sheer breadth of his learning. That is what makes this representative "novel" a unique masterpiece in its own way. ( )
  LSPopovich | Apr 8, 2020 |
A powerful and gripping cry from the heart; a man endures a severe emotional and religious crisis which bleeds over into his personal life, his work, every aspect of his existence. Strindberg documents an inferno-like journey into the depths of despair, rings of hell leading ever inward... ( )
  CliffBurns | Nov 23, 2008 |
Exibindo 2 de 2
L’Inferno di Strindberg non è un libro: non viene vissuto dal lettore come un libro, ma come un’esperienza. Poiché Strindberg è uno scrittore, ogni tanto ci si accorge della qualità letto-scritta di questa esperienza: ma nell’insieme essa ha lo spessore e l’illimitatezza formale e temporale che hanno i fatti nell’essere vissuti. Anche l’ambiguità e la mancanza di definizioni e funzioni nette e precise (pur magari nella sospensione) sono quelle dei fatti vissuti: mescolate come sono a quel qualcosa di univoco, ontologico, elementare che è tipico del momento puramente esistenziale delle nostre esperienze.
adicionado por SnootyBaronet | editarIl Tempo, Pier Paolo Pasolini
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