The Roofing Ceremony and the Silver Lake

August Strindberg, Author, Margareta Paul, Translator, David M. Paul, Translator University of Nebraska Press $15 (118p) ISBN 978-0-8032-4171-8
Nearly a century after their original publication, we finally have been vouchsafed an English translation of a novel and a short story by the Strindberg (1849-1912) we know as the major playwright whose work influenced the course of modern drama from O'Neill and Pirandello to Beckett and Pinter. In The Roofing Ceremony, an unnamed, dying museum curator wakes from a morphine sleep to play his consciousness over his lifespan. There were good yearsrare, in Strindbergearly on, in the first phase of his marriage, when he strewed roses over the sleeping forms of his wife and infant son. The bad years commence when his wife falls under the influence of hated cousins, accompanied by the familiar Strindbergian themes of discord, estrangement, vindictiveness, hatred, corrosive guilt and the misogyny for which he is notorious. Included with the short novel is an ""Interpolation'' written after he had completed it; another episode from the early years, it is of no great consequence. The story, ``The Silver Lake,'' is related in mood and tonality and gives added weight and density to a volume that is worth reading for itself, and all the more so for anyone interested in the origins of literary modernism. (November 12)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-8032-9168-3
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