About the Book:
Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter August Strindberg (1849–1912) kept a diary from February 1896 in Paris until the summer of 1908 in Stockholm, which he referred to as his Occult Diary. Now available for the first time in its entirety in English, The Occult Diary initiates readers into Strindberg's inner world during a crucial transitional period in his personal and literary life. The diary was used by Strindberg to decipher the world as he experienced it, exploring new ways of looking at, interpreting, and writing about nature, science, art, the occult, and his fellow human beings. After his second marriage to Austrian journalist Frieda Uhl crashed in 1894, he left his wife and young daughter in Austria to restart his writing career and earn a living in Paris, the cultural capital of Europe. The early part of the diary deals with his exploration of alchemy, his attempts to make gold, and his discovery of the works of Swedish scientist and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg. Then, after a mid-life crisis forced him to rethink the meaning of life and upon his return to Stockholm in the early 1900s, he met his third wife Harriet Bosse and fell madly in love. The second part of the diary covers his passionate and all-consuming love affair and marriage to the young actress (30 years his junior)—and their subsequent heart-breaking divorce.