August Strindberg influenced the Russian cultural élite of the turn of the 20th century mostly in his capacity as a playwright. In this essay, I will address Strindberg as a precursor of Expressionism and investigate the proximity between him and Leonid Andreev (1871-1919). Andreev is the one Russian writer, novelist and playwright who shares the most with the proto-Expressionist dramatist. In his plays and dramas The Life of Man (1906), King Hunger (1907), and Anfisa (1909) there’s a search for new theatrical expressive means that we find as well in Strindberg’s To Damascus (1898-1901), A Dream Play (1901-1906) and The Ghost Sonata (1907). Strindberg claimed that he had created a new ideal form with A Dream Play; Andreev knew he had found a new form in his play The Life of Man. Through the use of stylization and allegory Andreev embedded this new form in the structure of a medieval morality play, but also adopted the same structure as Strindberg had done in To Damascus (“station drama”). Both authors owed to Schopenhauer the pessimistic worldview, the empirical inscrutability of reality, and the idea of the world as the kingdom of appearances. Their metaphysical and transcendent themes touched upon the sacred and the ultimate questions concerning life. Both being visionaries, they created an alternative, virtual reality and displayed a common tendency towards generalization, standardization and abstraction, a refusal to individualize their characters, and an oneiric perception of reality, often resolving into a nightmare. There are other shared elements in their plays: the distortion of reality through the grotesque, the introduction of music into the narrative of the dramas, the insisted reiteration of the characters’ lines and the vivid use of colors. The similarity of thought, images and formal methods in Strindberg and Andreev’s work is the expression of a similar Weltanschauung, as is their deep awareness of the social crisis of their time − a hint at a shared consciousness.
Two precursors of Expressionism: August Strindberg and Leonid Andreev / Giuliani, Rita. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 82-95. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Le avanguardie dei Paesi nordici nel contesto europeo del primo Novecento. The Nordic Avant-gardes in the European Context of the Early 20th Century tenutosi a Roma, Sapienza nel 22-24 ottobre 2015.
|Titolo:||Two precursors of Expressionism: August Strindberg and Leonid Andreev|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Citazione:||Two precursors of Expressionism: August Strindberg and Leonid Andreev / Giuliani, Rita. - STAMPA. - (2017), pp. 82-95. ((Intervento presentato al convegno Le avanguardie dei Paesi nordici nel contesto europeo del primo Novecento. The Nordic Avant-gardes in the European Context of the Early 20th Century tenutosi a Roma, Sapienza nel 22-24 ottobre 2015.|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||04b Atto di convegno in volume|