2012:2 Issue

Editorial2012:2 Issue

The short pier running out into the Thames from the north Kent town of Gravesend was for many years home to a plaque marking one of the very few places in Britain ever visited by world-famous Swedish playwright August Strindberg. The plaque, removed during renovations, now languishes at the back of a crowded storeroom, but the man continues to fascinate and provoke us in equal measure, as this special issue shows. Charlotte Purkis has done fine detective work on the events of his 1949 centenary and his fan base at the time the plaque went up.

Translator Eivor Martinus, whose essay evokes a whole life coloured by her discovery of the playwright, reflects on why he never had the breakthrough here enjoyed by Ibsen or Chekhov. His unpredictability and lack of restraint, she has found, can unsettle both audiences and actors.

Strindberg’s acerbic observations on the power of the press in the extract from The New Kingdom, appearing in English for the first time, are vividly rendered by Peter Graves and have uncomfortable echoes in our own day. Graves is another of our outstanding translators who has spent a great deal of time in the company of Strindberg’s texts.

It bodes well for Strindberg’s future that this centenary year has generated various student productions and projects. We report, for example, on a mentoring scheme to produce new versions of some of the one-act plays and a Red Room project running at UCL throughout October. After a slightly slow start, there have been a good many new Strindberg productions around the UK this year, though few British directors have publicised their projects on the official centenary website strindberg2012.se. Our list makes interesting reading, even if it is not fully comprehensive.

Strindberg constantly wrote for the press alongside his other work and was also a prolific lifelong correspondent; we take a look at his highly personal and sometimes explosive articles and letters. His scientific experiments may have been of dubious value, but in the field of early photography at least, as we see in this issue, he did thought-provoking work with his ‘celestographs’. We also shed light on the inspiration for his very first drama, In Rome.

Who would have thought it? Strindberg is now big in the world of comic books, as the introduction to the extract from the graphic-novel version of Inferno reveals. A whole Paris exhibition on the subject was recently mounted in France.

This many-faceted writer is a worthy subject of SBRs first single-author issue for some years, rounded off with our usual broad range of reviews.

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Reading Map in Hand and Other Thoughts on Translating Strindberg

Peter Graves is one of our outstanding translators who has spent a great deal of time in the company of Strindberg's texts. Here he presents his thoughts on translating Strindberg.

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The New Kingdom

Translated and Introduced by Peter Graves

Strindberg's acerbic observations on the power of the press in this extract, appearing in English for the first time, are vividly rendered by Peter Graves and have uncomfortable echoes in our own day.

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Strindberg in My Life

Translator Eivor Martinus, whose essay evokes a whole life coloured by her discovery of the playwright, reflects on why he never had the breakthrough here enjoyed by Ibsen or Chekhov. His unpredictability and lack of restraint, she has found, can unsettle both audiences and actors.

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August Strindberg the Journalist

Strindberg constantly wrote for the press alongside his other work. Agnes Broome presents a portrait of Strindberg as a journalist.

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Corresponding with Strindberg

Strindberg was a prolific lifelong correspondent. Anna Paterson looks at his highly personal and sometimes explosive letters.

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The Artist as a Young Man: August Strindberg's 'I Rom' and the Celebration of a Centenary

Elettra Carbone sheds light on the inspiration for Strindberg's very first drama, I Rom (In Rome).

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The Commemoration of the Strindberg Centenary of 1949 in Britain

The short pier running out into the Thames from the north Kent town of Gravesend was for many years home to a plaque marking one of the very few places in Britain ever visited by world-famous Swedish playwright August Strindberg. The plaque, removed during renovations, now languishes at the back of a crowded storeroom, but the man continues to fascinate and provoke us in equal measure, as this special issue shows. Charlotte Purkis has done fine detective work on the events of his 1949 centenary and his fan base at the time the plaque went up.

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'The Delayed Rays of a Star': Strindberg's Celestographs in the Light of 'Camera Lucida'

Strindberg's scientific experiments may have been of dubious value, but in the field of early photography at least, as Claire Thomson demonstrates, he did thought-provoking work with his ‘celestographs’.

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Strindberg illustrated: Fabian Göranson's graphic-novel version of 'Inferno'

Translated and Introduced by Ruth Urbom

Who would have thought it? Strindberg is now big in the world of comic books, as Ruth Urbom's introduction to an extract from the graphic-novel version of Inferno reveals. A whole Paris exhibition on the subject was recently mounted in France.

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Strindberg's One-Act Plays Mark One Hundred Years

Since the beginning of the 2012 Strindberg centenary, a project has been underway to translate and publish four of Strindberg's one-act plays. These will be published in one volume by Norvik Press in the autumn of 2012 and accompanied by a series of Strindberg events to be held at University College London.


BOOKSHELF: REVIEWS, edited by Anna Paterson

Arra. Legender från LavoraMaria Turtschaninoff, Arra. Legender från Lavora

Söderströms, 2009.

Reviewed by Agnes Broome and Nichola Smalley ▸Read Review


UnderforsMaria Turtschaninoff, Underfors

Söderströms, 2010.

Reviewed by Agnes Broome and Nichola Smalley ▸Read Review


VerklighetsprojektetIsabella Nilsson, Verklighetsprojektet (The Reality Project)

X Publishing, 2011.

Reviewed by Tuva Tod ▸Read Review


Istället för att bara skrikaElin Nilsson, Istället för att bara skrika (Instead of Just Screaming)

Alfabeta, 2011.

Reviewed by Kristina Sjögren ▸Read Review


62 dagarCilla Naumann, 62 dagar (62 days)

Alfabeta, 2011.

Reviewed by Kristina Sjögren ▸Read Review


BlixtslukarenJonatan Brännström, Blixtslukaren (The Lightning Gobbler)

Natur och Kultur, 2012.

Reviewed by Charlotte Berry ▸Read Review


Resan till världens farligaste landMalte Persson, Resan till världens farligaste land (The Journey to the Most Dangerous Land in the World)

Bonnier Carlsen, 2012.

Reviewed by Anna Tebelius ▸Read Review


Elden och döttrarna. Valda och nya dikterLars Gustafsson, Elden och döttrarna. Valda och nya dikter (The Fire and the Daughters. Selected and New Poems)

Atlantis, 2012.

Reviewed by Carl Otto Werkelid ▸Read Review


Medealand och andra pjäserSara Stridsberg, Medealand och andra pjäser (Medealand and Other Plays)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2012.

Reviewed by Kevin Halliwell ▸Read Review


HavsmannenCarl-Johan Vallgren, Havsmannen (The Merman)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2012.

Reviewed by Birgitta Thompson ▸Read Review


ÖnLotta Lundberg, Ön (The Island)

Natur och Kultur, 2012.

Reviewed by Birgitta Thompson ▸Read Review


SkuggorPeter Handberg, Skuggor (Shadows)

Natur och Kultur, 2012.

Reviewed by Sarah Death ▸Read Review


Ondskans prisSet Mattson, Ondskans pris (The Price of Evil)

Historiska Media, 2012.

Reviewed by Stephen Dawson ▸Read Review


Snuten i skymningslandet. Svenska polisberättelser i roman och film 1965-2010Michael Tapper, Snuten i skymningslandet. Svenska polisberättelser i roman och film 1965-2010 (The Cop in Land of Twilight. Swedish Police Narratives in Novels and Films 1965-2010)

Nordic Academic Press, 2011.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


Death in a Cold ClimateBarry Forshaw, Death in a Cold Climate

Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Reviewed by Charlotte Garbutt ▸Read Review


Tolv månader i skuggaLukas Moodysson, Tolv månader i skugga (Twelve Months in Shadow)

Wahlström & Widstrand, 2012.

Reviewed by Henning Koch ▸Read Review


Resan till månenSara Arrhenius and Magnus Berg (eds), Resan till månen (A Trip to the Moon)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2012.

Reviewed by Henning Koch ▸Read Review


Knapptryckarkompaniet. Rapport från Sveriges riksdagAnne-Marie Påhlsson, Knapptryckarkompaniet. Rapport från Sveriges riksdag (The Button-Pressing Brigade. Report from the Swedish Parliament)

Atlantis, 2011.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


Kunskapen och makten. Om det offentliga beslutfattandets kunskapsförsörjningPer Molander, Kunskapen och makten. Om det offentliga beslutfattandets kunskapsförsörjning (The Knowledge and the Power. On public decision-making and the role of knowledge)

Atlantis, 2012.

Reviewed by Anna Paterson ▸Read Review


Sverige forever in my heartNiklas Orrenius, Sverige forever in my heart (Sweden forever in my heart)

Natur och Kultur, 2012.

Reviewed by Željka Černok ▸Read Review


Det enda könet. Varför du är förförd av den ekonomiske mannen och hur det förstör ditt liv och världsekonominKatrine Kielos, Det enda könet. Varför du är förförd av den ekonomiske mannen och hur det förstör ditt liv och världsekonomin (The Only Sex. Why you are seduced by the economic man and how it ruins your life and the world economy)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2012.

Reviewed by B.J. Epstein ▸Read Review


Dag ut och dag in med en dag i DublinErik Andersson, Dag ut och dag in med en dag i Dublin (Day In and Day Out with One Day in Dublin)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2012.

Reviewed by Martin Murrell ▸Read Review


Den Tranströmerska insektsamlingenFredrik Sjöberg, Den Tranströmerska insektsamlingen (The Tranströmer Insect Collection)

Albert Bonniers förlag, 2011.

Reviewed by Anna Tebelius ▸Read Review


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