Att se stjärnor på ljusa dagen. Förvandling och försoning i August Strindbergs En blå bok
Sammanfattning: Abstract Regnell, Astrid: Att se stjärnor på ljusa dagen. Förvandling och försoning i August Strindbergs En blå bok. Seeing stars in broad daylight. Transformation and Reconciliation in August Strindberg’s Zones of the Spirit. In this thesis a pattern of coherence is explored in August Strindberg’s Zones of the Spirit (En blå bok) – a literary work consisting of a collection of short and quite diverse essays. It is argued that Strindberg’s pattern of thought has its base in a concept of transformation that characterizes his descriptions of nature and human life. In the introduction, the transformationprocess is tied to the concept of transmutation in alchemy, i.e. how matter is transmuted through different stages of purification into perfect gold. Connections are also made to the Christian notion of conversion, made manifest in the description of the stages of the meditation process. Finally the hypothesis is put forward that Strindberg writes in a cryptic manner when using alchemical symbolism. In the first two chapters the already known facts about Strindberg’s alchemical experience and his acquaintances with devotional literature are summed up. From chapter three on follows the analysis of Strindberg’s essays classified under the subtitles “The Transformations of Nature”, “The Phenomena of Heaven” and “The Transformations of Man”. In the last chapter, “The Transformation of Poetry”, the fluid border between fiction and reality in Strindberg’s essays is explored. A comparative methodology is adopted in order to demonstrate the role of transformation, i.e. the texts in Zones of the Spirit are compared to alchemical ideas and to thoughts on conversion, found in literature on meditation. The study shows the role of the alchemical patterns of thought in Strindberg’s comprehension of different phenomena. For instance, applying the theme of transformation to Zones of Spirit lends explanation to Strindberg’s thoughts about reconciliation, but also to his thoughts about the process between life and death and whether there will be life after physical death. Keywords: August Strindberg, Zones of the Spirit, En blå bok, devotional literature, literature of meditation, transformation, transmutation, alchemy, conversion, synthesis, Johann Arndt, Swedenborg, Goethe, Platon Copyright © Astrid Regnell och ellerströms förlag 2009 isbn 978–91–7247–204–4 Distributor: ellerströms, Fredsgatan 6, SE–222 20 Lund, Sweden Phone: +46 32 32 95, www.ellerstroms.se
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