Manny's Reviews > Dödsdansen

Dödsdansen by August Strindberg
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1713956
's review

liked it
bookshelves: not-the-whole-truth, older-men-younger-women, parody-homage, swedish-norwegian-and-danish, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts
Recommended to Manny by: Ingmar Bergman

[Night. An apartment near Marble Arch. From outside, sounds of Muslims celebrating Ramadan; the restaurants are just beginning to fill up. NOT is sitting at a table typing on a laptop, while MANNY lies on a couch reading a slim paperback book. He closes it, puts it down next to him, and stares into space]

NOT: What are you thinking about?

MANNY: Strindberg's Dödsdansen. You know, I'm kind of disappointed. Bergman talks about it in Laterna Magica as though it were a masterpiece, but I thought it was melodramatic and poorly written. Even if it has some interesting things to say about dysfunctional relationships.

NOT: Well, it's not performed much any more.

MANNY: No, no! We're doing a parody review! You're supposed to disagree violently!

NOT: Like how?

MANNY: Oh, I don't know, you could scornfully ask if my Swedish is good enough to be able to evaluate the quality of the language. And add that I know nothing about theater.

NOT: Well, it's true, you haven't seen much theater.

MANNY: Not like that! You need to fling insults at me! And use more exclamation points!

NOT: Okay, you haven't seen much fucking theater!

MANNY: It's still no good! You forgot to denigrate my knowledge of Swedish! And you didn't insult me enough!

NOT: This is stupid.

MANNY: Come on! We need a bitter quarrel where we say unforgivable things to each other! With yelling and screaming and some physical violence! And exclamation points! Otherwise I won't get enough votes!

NOT: I'm fucking tired of being in your review. If you want to do this kind of fucking shit you can fuck off back to your ex-wife.

MANNY: Hey, that wasn't bad. You're getting the hang of it already.
40 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Dödsdansen.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

July 6, 2016 – Started Reading
July 6, 2016 – Shelved
July 6, 2016 –
page 80
26.85% "My first reaction is that it has to be absurdly overexaggerated - but on reflection I take it back, dysfunctional relationships really are this horrible. Clear why Bergman liked him so much."
July 6, 2016 – Shelved as: not-the-whole-truth
July 6, 2016 – Shelved as: older-men-younger-women
July 6, 2016 – Shelved as: parody-homage
July 6, 2016 – Shelved as: swedish-norwegian-and-danish
July 6, 2016 – Shelved as: too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts
July 6, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Maru (new)

Maru Kun "...Their latest maid has just quit; their children have abandoned them; and they can't keep company with any of the locals on their remote island because they despise them...."

This work sounds like an allegory of post-Brexit Britain. Perhaps it's time the play got a revival?

Nice placing of your exclamation marks by the way!


Manny Maru wrote: "This work sounds like an allegory of post-Brexit Britain."

As does my review! For people who didn't spot it, I represent the repentant Leavers, Not represents the 16-24 year olds who couldn't be bothered to vote but are now gutted, and the exclamation points represent opinion pieces in the left-wing press. I know, it's a bit subtle.


Manny Not complains that she has been quoted inaccurately in this review. Like most women, she does not understand the demands of Great Art.


message 4: by Matt (new)

Matt Reading the review and the blurb, a quote by Jean Paul comes to mind:

Geheimnisse in der Ehe sind gefährlich und nichtig; ihre Scheide bedeckt immer einen Dolch, den die Zeit zieht.

(my translation)
Secrets in marriage are dangerous and void; their sheath always covers a dagger which is drawn by time.


Manny That does indeed seem apposite, though I'm a bit confused by nichtig...


message 6: by Matt (new)

Matt I suppose void isn't a good word for nichtig in this case. I think JP didn't want to make those secrets look like negligible (one meaning of nichtig), but more like futile (another meaning).


message 7: by Fionnuala (new)

Fionnuala Success - not's last line got me to press the like button...no, that's not quite right, it was manny's line...now I'm not sure which of the manny lines made me press the 'like' button...


Manny I keep telling Not that we need to quarrel more in public, but she won't bloody listen.


notgettingenough Fionnuala wrote: "Success - not's last line got me to press the like button...no, that's not quite right, it was manny's line...now I'm not sure which of the manny lines made me press the 'like' button..."

I'd like to say that I'm misrepresented here, but as a piece of art, it's horrifyingly life-like.

Manny wrote: "I keep telling Not that we need to quarrel more in public, but she won't bloody listen."

What was that?


Manny No, no, no! You almost had it for a moment and then you lost it again! You're supposed to say this person is nothing like you and only proves that I have no talent as a writer! But it's what you deserve for getting involved with me! And then a bitter prayer to Almighty God! And screams of incoherent rage! Using lots of exclamation points!

Though don't let me put words into your mouth, it should be spontaneous.


message 11: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Manny wrote: "I keep telling Not that we need to quarrel more in public, but she won't bloody listen."

Perhaps you should learn some quarrelsome dialog from great plays and act them out in public. That would reduce the pressure to be spontaneously clever.


Manny What, use a teleprompter? That would be boring! But presidential, I grant you that.


message 13: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Or memorize your lines! And perhaps have a friend stand by with the prompt book, just in case.


message 14: by Alfred (last edited Jul 17, 2016 06:14AM) (new)

Alfred Haplo Miriam wrote: "Or memorize your lines! And perhaps have a friend stand by with the prompt book, just in case."

Or, or, you can pretend to read carefully-phrased notes written by your scriptwriters for 20 mins, then toss it over your shoulders in defiance, and speak from your gut! That would be very presidential and keeping it real, you know! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/us/...

Edit: Jul 16, Pence. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/us/...


Manny I just can't figure out Trump's strategy. Isn't he peaking too soon? He's, like, two jumps away from explaining to people that Hitler had his good side, and then where will he go?


message 16: by Alfred (last edited Jul 12, 2016 02:56PM) (new)

Alfred Haplo I don't think even Trump can figure out his strategy!

He is all over the place. Right to Left, then Left to Right; winging it issue by issue, day by day... Keep your friends, foes, pundits and junkies nimble on their toes - "What's it gonna be today?"

Sanders took one for the team today. For that, I take my hat off and salute him. It's not that nobody paid attention to Sanders for the last 30 years; it's really more of, why did Sanders wait 30 years to come out of the woodwork?


Czarny Pies I saw it forty years ago on stage in Toronto. It was fabulous. A good production can overcome most of this work's grievous errors.


Manny I also get the feeling that I should see it performed live. Bergman has only good things to say about it.


message 19: by Czarny (last edited Aug 17, 2018 05:56PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Czarny Pies Manny wrote: "I also get the feeling that I should see it performed live. Bergman has only good things to say about it."

Bergman was reputed to be as good a theatrical director as he was a movie director. I have more than once been surprised by how good directors had find qualities in plays that I had missed.

I agree that if one simply reads "The dance of death", it is quite dreadful. Parts One and Two simply do not fit together.


back to top