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On the Seaboard: A Nov...
August Strindberg
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On the Seaboard: A Novel of the Baltic Islands

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Strindberg's famous novel in the authorized Ellie Schleussner translation.
Published by Howard Fertig (first published 1913)
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Opening lines:
A fishing boat was sailing on a May evening with a side-wind across an open stretch of the southern part of the Stockholm Archipelago. The Skerries, with their well-known three pyramids, turned blue in the distance and as the sun was setting, clouds began to gather in the clear evening sky.

3* The Father
3* By the Open Sea
TR The Red Room
Philip Lane
I was impressed by the descriptive passages of the sea and the small island where this story is set. Within this setting we are told the tale of a lonely man caught up in his own intellect which is impressive but overpowering. He is unable to 'suffer fools gladly' and so finds it almost impossible to socialise with the locals. The novel, like its setting, seems very bleak and therefore made quite difficult reading but I am sure Strindberg has put his finger on a condition that some gifted people ...more
This story is of Borg, a man who never fit in where ever he finds himself has been assigned to visit the Stockholm archipelago and save the fishing industry. Written in 1890, this story encompasses naturalism, philosophies of Nietzsche as well as the failure of man to appreciate and care for the environment at its own destruction of a way of life. Mostly the book explores the isolation of Borg and even in his great intelligence his gradual dive into insanity.
A book about a man, Axel Borg, who considers himself a sort of Nietzschean superman, and how he reacts when he comes as a representative of the Swedish fishing commission to a small island outside of Stockholm. Here he is surrounded by what he considers the most unevolved human beings, the rabble, and here he also meets a young woman whom he wishes to marry. The problem is that the people on the island resents him and the "girl", as he calls her although she is only a year or two younger than hi ...more
You have to love the Scandinavians and their existential take on life, especially August Strindberg. This is one of his novels, and not a play. Axel Borg, a fishery inspector goes to an isolated island of the coast of Sweden to convince the inhabitants of better ways of fishing, and is met with resistance. His response is to loath them. He clumsily tries to seduce a young woman, only adding to his despair and hastening his own tragedy.
I would like to freely admit that I read this book only because its author is the subject of the excellent and hilarious Flash animations at The book was readable, but the animations were always foremost in my mind. Good times.
Jul 17, 2008 lisa_emily rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tortured & torqued types
Shelves: fictions
Strindberg has strange ideas about women and romantic love, no wonder he had three marriages that did not work. Objective descriptions of a harsh but mystical landscape are paralleled to insensible and tortured courtship.
I was fascinated by the detail Strindberg went into on the natural environment and the psychology of Borg. The mental anguish of the character must in part reflect Strindberg's own.
...chemosynthetic life of the ocean to photosynthetic life at the top....
....rhythm of life ...waiting millions of years to become abundant....

Beautifully writen but ultimately there wasn't that much of a story.
Publication date seems to be wrong.
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Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish writer, playwright, and painter. Along with Henrik Ibsen, Søren Kierkegaard, Selma Lagerlöf and Hans Christian Andersen he is arguably the most influential and famous of all Scandinavian authors. Strindberg is known as one of the fathers of modern theatre. His work falls into two major literary movements, Naturalism and Expressionism. He is widely read in Swed ...more
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