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Strindberg's Journey.

Encounters with foreign cultures

December 13 2006 - September 2 2007 

"My intention is within a number of years, alternating with literary work during the pauses, to undertake a journey 'Through the Continent of the White Man' to study the native peoples of Europe"

Letter from August Strindberg to his publisher, Albert Bonnier, 19 September 1884

 Strindberg spent a third of his adult life in foreign parts. He left Sweden in the autumn of 1883 and did not return permanently until 1899. In between he led a roving life in France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Austria. Strindberg liked to refer to his residence abroad as "exile". He wanted to be seen in a heroic light. The notion of "exile" conjures up a picture of someone who is persecuted as well as of a narrow-minded, uncomprehending native land characterised by petit-bourgeois respectability and political conservatism.

Strindberg had an ambivalent attitude to Sweden. He could write very dismissively about the country while, at times, suffering from intense homesickness.
 But Strindberg's residence abroad was more than merely an escape. It was part of a campaign of conquest. By establishing himself internationally he thought that he would guarantee his success at home.

His numerous journeys also gave essential impulses to his writing. His years in "exile" considerably widened his intellectual horizons. 

The new exhibition at the Strindberg Museum deals with August Strindberg's "exile" but also with his encounters with foreign cultures and religions.