Who was Johan August Strindberg?

writer Strindberg
   Johan August Strindberg (1849-1912) was a Swedish dramatist and fiction writer, born in Stockholm, and educated at Uppsala University, which he left without taking a degree. After leaving the university he lived an impecunious, Bohemian life, employed variously in school teaching, tutoring, acting, and newspaper writing. In 1872 he visited the islands bordering Stockholm, and in the course of his sojourn came to know the island fishing folk, whom he later portrayed in his work. Two years later, through the help of friends, he obtained a position on the staff of the Royal Library, Stockholm.

   Müster Olof ("Master Olof"; prose version, 1872; verse version, 1878), his first important play, helped to inaugurate a revolutionary movement against the established conventions of Swedish literature. In his realistic novel Roda Rummet ("The Red Room", 1879), inspired stylistically in part by Charles Dickens, Strindberg depicts with mordant satire Swed­ish conditions and institutions in the 1870's. From 1883 to 1897 he lived mostly abroad, in Switzerland, Germany, France, and Denmark; in 1899 he returned to Stockholm, and thence-forth made that city his home. In the middle 1890's, during his stay in Paris, Strindberg suffered a serious mental breakdown due to overwork and marital unhappiness. By 1897 he had recovered, and was once more in full creative activity. Strindberg was married three times, but each matrimonial venture proved unsatisfactory and ended in divorce.

   Strindberg is generally regarded as the foremost modern writer of Sweden, and his plays have had a profound influence upon the development of the European drama. As a whole, his works exemplify the major literary movements current in Europe during the 19th century. His earlier works are concerned with radical political thought and are written in the modes of realism and naturalism. His later works contain many elements used also by the symbolists and found in later movements such as expressionism, surrealism, and existentialism. Among his predominant themes are family and sexual conflict, misogyny, and pessimism; some of his later dramas such as Spoksonaten ("The Spook Sonata", 1907) present Buddhistlike ideas of mystical deliverance from the ills of life. Such themes and Strindberg's extremely subjective treatment of them greatly influenced both expressionistic and naturalistic dramatists in the decades following his death.

   His other notable works include the play Lycko-Pers Resa ("Lucky Peter's Travels"' 1880),. Fadren ("The Father", 1887), Froten Julie ("Lady Julia", 1888), Tul Damasku; ("To Damascus", 3 parts, 1898-1904), Brott och Brott ("Crimes and Crimes", 1899), Gustavus Vasa (1899), Pásk ("Easter", 1900). Dodsdansen ("The Dance of Death", 1901). and Ett Dromspel ("A Dream Play", 1902); the novels Hemsoborna ("The People of Hemso", 1887) and Havsbandet ("In the Outer Skerries", 1890); the autobiography Tjánstekvinnans Son ("The Son of a Servant"". 1886); the short stories and sketches Svensk Óden och Aventyr ("Swedish Fates and Adventures", 1882-83) and Giftas ("Married". 1884-86) ; and the diary En Blábok ("A Blue-book", 1907-08).