AUGUST STRINDBERG THROUGH THE EYES OF KARL LEONHARD: A DIALOGUE OF CULTURES BETWEEN GERMANY AND SWEDEN

Research outputpeer-review

Abstract

The present article is an attempt to bring together anthropology, literary science and psychiatry with the aim to consider how life and work of August Strindberg (1849-1912) is perceived in the last opus of the well-known German psychiatrist Karl Leonhard (1904-1988), the author of the book Accentuated Personalities, which is very well-known for the Russian reader. His views and evaluations form a bright period in the history of the reception of the works of the Swedish writer in Germany and can be seen as a result of the dialogue between the Swedish and German cultures, inscribed in the history of medical thought of the epoch and pathological literary criticism. Leonhard argued that Strindberg was wrongly treated as a schizophrenic but suffered in fact from cycloid psychosis. The methodical approach, which Leonhard employed to prove his point, is partly based on the tradition of literary anthropology and is close to the traditions of the Russian humanistic psychiatry. Although Leonhard’s work a subject to criticism, he shows interesting insights with current relevance. Invocating Strindberg’s haunting works Days of Loneliness, Hell or Occult Diary, the authors of the present article reproduce the symptom complex of the psychotic, emphasize the importance of Leonhard’s complex and elaborate work, and draw attention to Strindberg’s narrative style from the point of view of mental disorders and psychology. In conclusion, the authors of the article announce the publication of the full text of Leonhard’s essay in Russian translation, with literary and medical commentaries.
Translated title of the contributionПИСАТЕЛЬ AВГУСТ CТРИНДБЕРГ ГЛАЗАМИ ПСИХИАТРА КАРЛА ЛЕОНГАРДА: НЕМЕЦКО-ШВЕДСКИЙ ДИАЛОГ КУЛЬТУР
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-381
Number of pages13
JournalСКАНДИНАВСКАЯ ФИЛОЛОГИЯ (SCANDINAVICA)
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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