A Lover's Complaint: A Poem (HarperPerennial Classics) by William Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare

A tender lady tells of her seduction and abandoment by way of a tender guy who proves to be unworthy of her allure and wonder.

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136). It has thus become an absorbing task for scholars and lay readers over the past century to attempt to diagnose Strindberg’s mental illness, and readers can also derive some amusement from Strindberg’s extreme language, which seems at times to certify that he is indeed unhinged. In writing in a letter to a friend, for example, Strindberg claims that his arch-rival Ibsen has plagiarized him, and he pronounces in triumph, ‘Do you see that my seed has fallen into Ibsen’s brain pan and fertilized!

3 And Strindberg produced a greater literary and artistic body of work than most English speakers would guess. It is not difficult to give an impression of the spirit of Strindberg’s authorship; its sheer daring and strength make it easy to distinguish. But any attempt to give a full account of his body of texts in an essay, or even in a collection of essays, must inevitably fall short. Among European literary prodigies, Strindberg ranks nearly with his ideal, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, in terms of the range and volume of his writing.

He studied botany (following in the footsteps of Carl Linnaeus), geology, psychology, optics and other disciplines, especially chemistry, or with time more accurately, alchemy. In solitude in his hotel room in Paris he mounted chemical experiments in pursuit of the chimerical universal element, a theoretical position harking back to that of alchemists in search of gold, though Strindberg’s concern was not gold in the sense of wealth, but an understanding of the basic material nature of the world.

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