One way of classifying biographies is to divide them into those that apply their own interpretative framework – be it psychoanalytic, gender-based, socio-historical, and so on – to a given subject and those that aim to meet the subject, on their own terms, or at least in terms that the subject would recognise. There are good and bad things to say about both approaches, but Sue Prideaux’s life of Strindberg (1849–1912) shows that if you get it right, there is nothing quite as satisfying as the latter. Not only does she meet Strindberg on his own ground, but by the close of this extraordinary book you are convinced that, even across the 100 years since his death, Strindberg would seek out his latest biographer as a friend.
Sue Prideaux: Strindberg
Strindberg: A Life
by Sue Prideaux
Yale University Press (Inbooks), $49.95 hb, 463 pp, 9780300136937
Kári Gíslason teaches creative writing and literary studies at Queensland University of...
If you are a single issue subscriber you will need to upgrade your subscription to view back issues.If you are already subscribed, click here to log in.
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.