Inferno & From an Occult Diary
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Inferno & From an Occult Diary

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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëKnight of Flame by Scott EderCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsFirestarter by Stephen King
Some like it hot
50th out of 185 books — 57 voters
Ulysses by James JoyceFinnegans Wake by James JoyceThe Sound and the Fury by William FaulknerMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Most Difficult Novels
256th out of 318 books — 1,365 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 479)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This book is out of print, but an excellent blend of alchemy, paranoid and insanity.

It's worth it to pay the extra.
como tengo 15 años detuve su lectura para leer la serie de crepúsculo...
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.
Jacqueline Valencia
Jacqueline Valencia marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2014
Paul Christensen
Paul Christensen marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2014
John Wattström
John Wattström marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
David Cavill
David Cavill marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2014
J marked it as to-read
Jun 05, 2014
J marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2014
Lleuwyn marked it as to-read
May 31, 2014
Jyri Engeström
Jyri Engeström marked it as to-read
May 30, 2014
Maisoun Ulver
Maisoun Ulver marked it as to-read
May 19, 2014
Jay-jay Martinsson
Jay-jay Martinsson marked it as to-read
May 19, 2014
Jaren marked it as to-read
May 15, 2014
Danielboss marked it as to-read
May 08, 2014
Rachael marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Eden, Eden, Eden
  • Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality
  • The Voice Imitator
  • Complete Plays and Prose
  • Thomas the Obscure
  • First Light
  • Summer Morning, Summer Night
  • Heliogabalus; or, the Crowned Anarchist
  • Insatiability
  • Moravagine
  • Novels and Stories
  • Paris Peasant
  • The Supermale
  • Wild Nights!: Stories About the Last Days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway
  • The Book of Monelle
  • The Other City
  • The Maimed
  • The Autobiography Of Benvenuto Cellini
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
More about August Strindberg...
Miss Julie A Dream Play Röda rummet The Father Hemsöborna

Share This Book

“Budući da ništa nisu odgovarali,kapnuo sam na mikroskop kap kiseline. Mrtva se materija nadula, nemirno se pokretala amo-tamo, počela je i živeti, ispuštala vonj truleži, ponovo se umirila i umrla.
Bez sumnje, mogu probuditi mrtve, ali neću to ponoviti još jednom, jer mrtvi imaju neugodan zadah poput bludnika nakon probančene noći.
Zar ne spavaju čvrsto tu dole čekajući uskrsnuće?”
More quotes…