The Red Room
book — Switzerland — 1879

It took me some time to figure it out where I first heard the name "August Strindberg". And finally I realised that it was the title of a play by Duerrenmatt "Play Strindberg" where I heard it first. A brief research in Wikepedia told me that Strindberg was a Swedish novelist who lived in late 19th, early 20th century and was a major force in Swedish literature. He`s mostly famous for his dramatic work, but "The Red Room" was the book that brought him fame. Strindberg can be classified as a satirical realist who balances on the line between communism and anarchism, yet prefers the second to the first. This book we`re talking about isn`t really too interesting on the first glance - the characters are kinda weird, the story goes pretty much nowhere, only to prove that bourgeous pigs suck big time. It`s no big shakes for me. The central figure in this book is a fellow who has a rich brother but he himself is a silly idealist, who can`t compete with the capitalist pigs, and has to suffer. Other people around him are more or less normal people - they know good from bad but they also try not to drown. Apart from a young man named Ulle who commits suicide. His last note is surely the best thing in the entire book and it provided me with a thing to think about. He makes fun of some of the ten commandments. For instance, he says - that the first commandment which says that God shall be the only God you shall serve clearly states that there ARE other gods. And why would a God so great care about whether someone uses his name without a need? Isn`t that a silly thing that no God would find that important to give it as one of the ten commandments which every man and woman should follow? Yet apart from this part about the commandments the book isn`t too interesting.
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