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Synopsis

The setting of a novel is more than just an anonymous, interchangeable backdrop. In Locating August Strindberg's Prose, Anna Westerståhl Stenport argues that spatial setting is a key - though often neglected - tool for exploring the fundamentals of European literary modernism.

Stenport examines the importance of location by exploring the prose of Swedish exile August Strindberg (1849-1912), challenging previous studies of the author that have focused on identity and subject formation. Strindberg wrote in both Swedish and French, situating his stories in various places across Europe - from Berlin to the French countryside, the Austrian Alps, and Stockholm - to purposely destabilize concepts of national belonging, language, and literary history. Close readings of Strindberg's prose find that his boundary-challenging narratives redefine and rewrite the meaning of a marginal literary identity. By contextualizing Strindberg against other early modernists, including Kafka, Conrad, Rilke, and Breton, Stenport emphasizes the burgeoning transnationality of literature at the turn of the last century.

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