“Knowledge patterns and life stages in search of a synthesis. A reading The Gothic Rooms by Strindberg” explores the hybridity of this text from 1904, which intertwines essay, novel and autobiography. Strindberg’s generational and indirectly autobiographical approach in The Gothic Rooms serves his renewed social interests at the beginning of the 20th century. It is so, because this prose work presents the contrast, and the interaction, between naturalism and post-naturalism, 1880s and 1890s, positivism and fin-de-siècle occultism, by considering the development and the turning points of its author’s life, from the breakthrough novel The Red Room (1879) to The Gothic Rooms (the latter book being a kind of sequel of the former). In particular, my article considers Strindberg’s critique of positivism and blind faith in linear progress and natural sciences. The dissatisfaction with contemporary materialism and the opposite, metaphysical yearning for “dematerialization” and occult meaning beyond phenomena are in fact the core of Strindberg’s post-Inferno viewpoint. In The Gothic Rooms, however, Strindberg’s inclination to “experiment with viewpoints”, and search for a synthesis out of his contradictions, makes him also create similes and metaphors drawing from the semantic field of the same natural sciences he criticizes. In short, Strindberg’s hybridity and systematic contradiction are not a limit but a consciously chosen method to pursue knowledge.

Modelli di conoscenza e stadi della vita alla ricerca di una sintesi. Una lettura delle Sale Gotiche di Strindberg

Massimo Ciaravolo
2019

Abstract

“Knowledge patterns and life stages in search of a synthesis. A reading The Gothic Rooms by Strindberg” explores the hybridity of this text from 1904, which intertwines essay, novel and autobiography. Strindberg’s generational and indirectly autobiographical approach in The Gothic Rooms serves his renewed social interests at the beginning of the 20th century. It is so, because this prose work presents the contrast, and the interaction, between naturalism and post-naturalism, 1880s and 1890s, positivism and fin-de-siècle occultism, by considering the development and the turning points of its author’s life, from the breakthrough novel The Red Room (1879) to The Gothic Rooms (the latter book being a kind of sequel of the former). In particular, my article considers Strindberg’s critique of positivism and blind faith in linear progress and natural sciences. The dissatisfaction with contemporary materialism and the opposite, metaphysical yearning for “dematerialization” and occult meaning beyond phenomena are in fact the core of Strindberg’s post-Inferno viewpoint. In The Gothic Rooms, however, Strindberg’s inclination to “experiment with viewpoints”, and search for a synthesis out of his contradictions, makes him also create similes and metaphors drawing from the semantic field of the same natural sciences he criticizes. In short, Strindberg’s hybridity and systematic contradiction are not a limit but a consciously chosen method to pursue knowledge.
Strindberg e magia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3720533
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