Thursday, February 5, 2009

Statue: Theme Thursday

Statue of Strindberg by Carl Eldh.

“People are constantly clamoring for the joy of life.
As for me, I find the joy of life in the hard and cruel battle of life - to learn something is a joy to me.”
-- August Strindberg (1849-1912)


Strindberg was a Swedish poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist, and also wrote a lot of good short stories ... here is the first paragraph of one of his stories.

Conductor Crossberg was fond of lying in bed in the morning,
firstly, because he had to conduct the orchestra in the evening,
and secondly, because he drank more than one glass of beer before
he went home and to bed. He had tried once or twice to get up early,
but had found no sense in it. He had called on a friend, but had
found him asleep; he had wanted to pay money into the bank, but had
found it still closed; he had gone to the library to borrow music,
but it was not yet open; he had wanted to use the electric trams,
but they had not yet started running. It was impossible to get a
cab at this hour of the morning; he could not even buy a pinch of
his favourite snuff; there was nothing at all for him to do. And
so he had eventually formed the habit of staying in bed until late;
and after all, he had no one to please but himself.


-From "The Sluggard"


*The Red Room, a novel by Strindberg has long been on my 'to read' list.
Strindberg also wrote fairy tales and some well reviewed autobiographical works, which include: The Son of a Servant, A Fool's Defense, and Alone.

*Considered by many critics to be the first example of modern Swedish realism. A friend recommended it for its irony and sarcasm.

20 comments:

Megan said...

That paragraph speaks to me in so many ways. All hail the slug-a-beds!

subtorp77 said...

Surely Strindberg had the right idea here. I must explore further. I'm off to Gutenberg...

Coffee Messiah said...

Wow an amazing find!

Thanks & Cheers!

e said...

From the paragraph, this looks like a great book! I'll have to put it on my list and hunt around. Thanks.

tut-tut said...

Strindberg! I'm putting him on my list as well.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I just read over his list of plays and I don't believe I've seen any! which is amazing when we lived in connecticut we were season ticket holders of the hartford stage - they adapted plenty of the greats - ibsen, williams, dylan thomas, wilson, even ionesco!!

well, I'll have to at least check out his poetry....

Cinnamon said...

Have never read any Strindberg- maybe one for our Reading Group...

dennis said...

Dennis heard that Strindberg inspired Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill and Ionesco.

lettuce said...

i find little sense in getting up early either

what a great quote!

his pose in that statue looks rather sarcastic too...

R.L. Bourges said...

never too many people around when I get up, that's for sure.

Strindberg fairy tales? Now, THAT I'll have to check out.

Deborah Godin said...

I really haven't read any S. but I feel I know him - he was a frequent subject of Edvard Munch, one of my favorite painters.

runmotman said...

wouldn't it be nice if nothing opened early? Then we could all lay in bed late into the morning...instead of being up at 4.

Barbara said...

Strindberg is a new name for me. Even though I come from Norwegian stock, I am willing to give him a try!

Kris said...

The Swedes are always worth a read. They can get a bit bleak though!

Dakota Bear said...

I have never heard of Strindberg, but I must agree with the excerpt; why get up early. I'm a night person who prefers to read late into the night.

Thank you for the introduction.

Merle Sneed said...

Interesting first paragraph. thanks for the post.

A.Decker said...

From the sculpture/statue (;-) he looks like someone who'd say what's in the opening quote.

Great intro to Strindberg. Thanks.

tony said...

You Are Keeping My Local Library Very Busy These Days!
Have A Grand Weekend.

goatman said...

A very nice Strindberg quote; Are there any other reasons not to get up early in the mornings? I am wholeheartedly with him on this.

Are we sure that there are no two snowflakes alike? I would need proof, like different pictures of two flakes exactly alike -- with careful measurements. Your mission, should you decide to accept it . . .

Avid Reader said...

I think they found the snowflake theory to be wrong.

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)