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Torches for Superman

Raymond Williams

21 November 1985
By the Open Sea 
by August Strindberg, translated by Mary Sandbach.
Secker, 193 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 436 50008 6
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August​ Strindberg 
by Olof Lagercrantz, translated by Anselm Hollo.
Faber, 399 pp., £20, September 1984, 0 571 11812 7
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StrindbergA Biography 
by Michael Meyer.
Secker, 651 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 436 27852 9
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... Who carried a torch for AugustStrindberg? On his 63rd, and last, birthday, some ten thousand people, led by the Stockholm Workers’ Commune with bands and red union banners, marched past the apartment that he called the Blue Tower, after ...

Real Madrid

Patrick Parrinder

1 October 1987
Fortunata and Jacinta: Two Stories of Married Women 
by Benito Perez Galdos, translated by Agnes Moncy Gullon.
Viking, 818 pp., £17.95, January 1987, 9780670814305
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... Literature was awarded to Gerhart Hauptmann. In that year two new names were added to the list of great non-winners of this prize, a list headed by Henrik Ibsen (d.1906) and Leo Tolstoy (d. 1910). AugustStrindberg died on 14 May; he at least had had the consolation of a ‘People’s Nobel Prize’, awarded at the climax of a public parade through the streets of Stockholm a couple of years earlier ...

Tomorrow they’ll boo

John Simon: Strindberg

25 October 2012
StrindbergA Life 
by Sue Prideaux.
Yale, 371 pp., £25, February 2012, 978 0 300 13693 7
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... AugustStrindberg’s complete works in Swedish run to 55 volumes, not counting the ten thousand or so letters. He lived for 63 years, yet wrote sixty-odd plays, equalling Shaw, who lived thirty years longer. And not ...

Slice of Life

Colin Burrow: Robin Robertson

30 August 2018
The Long Take 
by Robin Robertson.
Picador, 256 pp., £14.99, February 2018, 978 1 5098 4688 7
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... him away until he opens his tweed to show her ‘my chest undone like some rare waistcoat’ with ‘its red, wet-look leatherette,/those fancy, flapping lapels’ of flesh. In one of his poems about Strindberg he has the playwright admit ‘I steer towards catastrophe/then write about it.’ Catastrophe transformed to image as though to neutralise its pain is very much Robertson’s thing. That has made ...
26 September 1991
Georg Lukács: Life, Thought and Politics 
by Arpad Kadarkay.
Blackwell, 538 pp., £45, June 1991, 1 55786 114 5
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... Habilitations-schrift – to the philosopher Georg Simmel in Berlin, then to Max Weber in Heidelberg – never came to anything. Amateur manager of a small privately-financed theatre where Ibsen and Strindberg had their Hungarian premières, frequent visitor to Florence and Paris, he acquired a somewhat esoteric reputation as the author of literary essays in a high metaphysical mode without showing much ...
17 November 2016
My Darling Mr Asquith: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Venetia Stanley 
by Stefan Buczacki.
Cato and Clarke, 464 pp., £28.99, April 2016, 978 0 9934186 0 0
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... so many tin soldiers to move around. ‘We are going to send all the Egyptian and Mediterranean garrison & the 2 Indian divisions as soon as they can be got to Marseilles,’ he informs Venetia in August 1914. Yet he also comes across as childishly needy, constantly asking her whether she found some speech he made clever or boring or whether she thinks he acted rightly on some point of national ...

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