Inferno & From an Occult Diary
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Inferno & From an Occult Diary

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  233 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"Inferno" and "From an Occult Diary" are for the most part based on a diary that Strindberg kept between 1896 and 1908 - undoubtedly the most troubled period of his life.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 26th 1979 by Penguin Classics (first published 1897)
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Linda
Am I veer glad I read the introduction to this book before I got into the text. Otherwise I would have declared Strindberg an absolute nut case! But, as the intro mentioned, he was depressed, with with chemicals (trying to create gold - the old alchemist's goal), drinking heavily and mostly absinth (which at that time contained chemicals that have been taken out for today's product), deep in debt, had two failed marriages, AND was a fiction writer. The last makes a lot of difference in the readi...more
lisa_emily
Jan 02, 2008 lisa_emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: aspiring alchemists, derangists
A semi-autobiographical diary of one of modernisms premiere playwright tracing the inner analysis during one of Strindberg's most tormented years. Written after Strindberg's estrangement from his second wife, he goes on a quest to redeem his psychological state by investigating chemistry while living in Paris. His approach is unorthodox and more arcane than scientific (alchemy). Strindberg also looks at events as synchronicity. Inferno is most interesting because of the glimpse you may get into...more
Unbridled
Strindberg, if Inferno is as psychically real to him as he later claimed (it’s debatable), is truly mad. A genius, as well. But mad. Hard to relate to his state of mind – the fever I understand, his particular obsessions, not so much. Of the limited Strindberg I have read, this resisted me more than the rest – which may be a sign of its genius. This is an interesting passage he had on the nature of Hell:

"Hell? But I had been brought up to regard Hell with the deepest contempt as an imaginary con...more
Adam  McPhee
Absolutely one of my favourite books about writers going penniless and begging money off of acquaintances. You have to give Strindberg credit, if only because he'd practically burned his hands to charcoal while doing alchemy experiments in his boarding room and still managed to write this. The book is great, but I wish I could stop hallucinating a floating skull whenever I touch it. I think my favourite parts are when he gets angry with his ex-wife when he claims she telepathically visits him af...more
Amorfna
3 zvezdice, zbog par ( ne)bitnih momenata.

Fluidi naših ludila se izgleda nisu proželi....
U Strindbergovoj bašti uma buja iskuljučivo ono demonsko; malefični elektriciteti koji nagone čoveka u paranoju, u uvek prisutnu smrt. Bašta ogrezla u fatalnost i mrak. Čovek je samo list na vetru sudbine, podređen i upravljan Silama. Kažnjavan.
Njegovu maštu čuva mračni , za neke od nas teško svarljivi Pluton – ja sam se nadala lucidnom , hirovitom Uranu.

Poznato je da je Strindberg eksperimentisao sa okultn...more
Nicole
I am yet to decide if I believe this novel to be a true account of Strindberg's experience (deliberately conditioning himself to experience what he did) or whether he was genuinely insane (perhaps again due to the conditioning of himself). Either way I found this naturalist novel very interesting and enjoyed every page. Shame I had to read it so fast as I would have enjoyed it more if I could have taken more time.
Phinehas
Strindberg was a giant asshole possessed of a metaphysical misogyny and persecution complex. During the period outlined in Inferno he stopped writing to devote himself to alchemy. His reading of Swedenborg seems to have completely driven him over the edge, reinforcing as it did Strindberg's belief in heavenly correspondences.
Yvonne
3,5 stars
An account on sheer madness, oppressive and ludicrous, with some beautiful observations on this thing called life. I can't stand stories about people who find their salvation in religion though, they are all blatent and kitschy in the same way.
Josiah
written during his conversion to his own Swedenbergian version of mystical Christianity. a sort of autobiographical journal and good period piece about the time and absinthe culture.
Cutter
Feb 22, 2007 Cutter rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The disturbingly self-obsessed
Three stars with an asterisk. Mildly redeemed by its weirdness and my own inability to place it within the context of nearly everything else I've read.
Andy
I call this book fiction but it is really the ramblings from his diary. Really interesting lunacy with a touch of woo woo thrown in for good measure.
Larry
This book is out of print, but an excellent blend of alchemy, paranoid and insanity.

It's worth it to pay the extra.
Jimecli
como tengo 15 años detuve su lectura para leer la serie de crepúsculo...
Alex
Feb 21, 2010 Alex added it
Inferno and from an Occult Diary (Classics S.) by August Strindberg (1988)
Miss Fips
Like sitting next to the crazy person on the bus...Interesting though.
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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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