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Strindberg Notes

 

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AC61,  Strindberg, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, all stand for psychological truth, that has been deformed and tortured by rationalistic schemes. The will to power is the psychological theory that best explains this. People can live by other ideas, but that is like being oppressed by morality; it is to deny yourself insight.

Strindberg’s madness is profoundly logical. His suffering is necessary. It is realising the consequences of ideas like Ibsen’s without suppressing and mortifying the self.

 

AV

 

64 Went to see Strindberg’s The Father at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden Town above the Oxford Arms. G. thought Laura was monster and therefore unbelievable. She relates more to Medea. But she admits she often feels about me as Laura did about her husband.

 

194 England and its faults. The Oscar Levy essay. Its present faults and the faults that were. Strindberg’s description of a country entirely in the hands of women. That may appear to be the problem today. Then the empire offered opportunities for escape and adventure. We look back on faults and we see present faults The Germans see those same faults in different way And they had their own quite serious faults.

 

AW

 

72 Gary Lachman said Strindberg had a chip on his shoulder about his mother’s low origin. I found the idea a bit surprising. I would say it was not necessarily a chip.

The social putdown can be the most painful thing. To be despised by the stupid. But there is no right by which it is to opposed. Feeling yes. Truth perhaps.

 

AP

 

137& Strindberg the absinthe soaked contributing to the culture in a way that is not sick. That personal decadence need not matter as in quote from Human All Too Human about degeneration, or indeed Lombroso in Men of Genius, when he praises the effects of genius that is insane. Any form of decadence may be contemplated, attraction to which one is not to surrender.

Concentrate on Strindberg. That morally insane being. No reason for Nietzsche to reject him as a friend. A creative genius equal to his own, though to a degree insane. But his insights have substantiality and are not just the charismatic vision of a single person. Enlightenment offers Relationship rooted in psychological understanding, or more specifically resistance to distortion alternative views introduce ‘truth’ in inverted commas. From the conflict engendered by explicitly understood will to power comes rejection of the tyranny of the individual vision. Of pretended truths that are not truths at all, but moral ideas and dogmas.

One may share the ideal however sick. There may be motives so extreme. Not personal charisma vision or authority.

 

 

AQ

 

97 If Gissing and Lecky thought that the woman question could be solved by means of education, in places Nietzsche suggested that he might have agreed with this. Strindberg, who probably thought harder about it, would not have done so.

 

“a puritanical land delivered into the hands of women - which signifies the same thing as having fallen into a state of absolute decadence."

 

 

294 Ratchet effects. Equal rights reforms. Morality of the weak. Obviously to a certain extent one accepts the society one is born into.

All those people who want to reform it, change it. This equal rights pressure. That I should change, learn, adapt.

The most important philosophical point is that I should not change, learn, adapt. There is an idea that we should think of women as in all respects equal to men, as Strindberg said only the mentally retarded do. As if we could think like this. As if  women poets, artists, philosophers, are as good as men. This insane rationalistic hypothesis. In its crude form it is absurd, but it is capable of ever more dialectical sophistication. The objection is immediate, and that is what is important.

 

GG

 

110& Today now that some of what Crowley said he wanted is finally coming to pass we can see that a solution has not really been found. This is not to call for a return to any previous order of things. Today's different atmosphere, may be equally oppressive and disturbing in its different way. Sexual freedom has given rise to new and still odious forms of moralism. Strindbergian and Munchian tensions must be widespread, even if the people can adapt themselves to any order.

 

That Crowley was actually far from naïve is evident from his often expressed views on women, which evoke all the battle of the sexes of a play by Ibsen or Strindberg. He was always conscious of the polarity between man and woman, the battle of wills, the essential conflict which some theories deny. Men and women have conflicting interests, conflicting power. This presents a challenge. For Crowley it was easy.

 

 

AT

 

125 Faithless, the latest Bergman film though directed by Liv Ullman. Bergman is obviously influenced by Strindberg, though he is different, and by no means a s good, probably because his characters are more repellent. David is a creep and Markus a monster. Marianne should meet another man who can take care of her But it is refreshing to see a film that is so un-American in its perspective.

 

PP

 

29 Artists have varying responses to the complexities of modern life. At best they have strong individualities, vigorous independent responses. Socialism somehow cuts away at all that vigorous independence. ‘Strindberg used to be a socialist, then he became a fascist’. The Norwegian academic I spoke to, it seemed he could understand fascism well enough and why many great writers were drawn to it, yet for him socialism was the great synthesis. In concentrating on distributing, socialism assumes the value of what is distributed. Yet this is what the greatest disputes are about.

 


 
 

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