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August Strindberg

The Red Room

August Strindberg’s novel The Red Room centers on the civil servant Arvid Falk as he tries to find meaning in his life through the pursuit of writing. He’s accompanied by a crew of painters, sculptors and philosophers each on their own journey for the truth, who meet in the “Red Room” of a local restaurant.
Drawing heavily on August’s own experiences, The Red Room was published in Sweden in 1879. Its reception was less than complimentary in Sweden—a major newspaper called it “dirt”—but it fared better in the rest of Scandinavia and soon was recognised in his home country. Since then it has been translated into multiple languages, including the 1913 English translation by Ellise Schleussner presented here.
351 printed pages
Have you already read it? How did you like it?


  • Liamhas quoted3 years ago
    As you know, I regard mankind with calm indifference; men are to me geological preparations, minerals; some crystallize under one condition, others under another; it all depends on certain laws or circumstances which should leave us completely unmoved. I don’t weep over the lime-spar, because it is not as hard as a rock-crystal.
  • Liamhas quoted3 years ago
    Falk felt an indescribable longing for fresh air; he opened the window which looked on the yard; it was dark and narrow like a tomb; all he could see was a small square of the sky if he bent his head far back. He fancied that he was sitting in his grave, breathing brandy fumes and kitchen smells, eating the funeral repast at the burial of his youth, his principles and his honour. He smelt the elder-blossoms which stood on the table, but they reeked of decay; once more he looked out of the window eager to find an object which would not inspire him with loathing; but there was nothing but a newly tarred dustbin—standing like a coffin—with its contents of cast-off finery and broken litter. His thoughts climbed up the fire-escape which seemed to lead from dirt, stench, and shame right up into the blue sky; but no angels were ascending and descending, and no love was watching from above—there was nothing but the empty, blue void
  • Liamhas quoted3 years ago
    The winter passed; slowly for the sufferers, more quickly for those who were less unhappy. Spring came with its disappointed hopes of sun and verdure, and in its turn made room for the summer which was but a short introduction to the autumn.

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