Dissertation Title:

The Reception of August Strindberg in Greece (Translations – Performances)

Supervisor: Platon Mavromoustakos

This doctoral thesis attempts to explore and interpret the reception of the Swedish writer August Strindberg in Greece. The research covers the period of a century, from the late 19th to the late 20th century, and the major stage productions and translation approaches to his work are studied and presented. 

In order to illuminate the diverse universe of Strindberg’s writing and the range of interests of the Greeks who focus on his creation, it was decided expedient to include in the survey a collection of every translated text of the multifaceted author's multi-volume corpus (i.e. short stories and excerpts from larger works), correlating it at the same time to the original source. The examination and analysis of stage direction and translation of his works was based on various sources of information (archives, memoirs, Greek and foreign newspapers and magazines, Greek, Swedish, English and French bibliography, photographic and visual material etc.).

The eight chapters of the thesis record the first translations and successive theatrical productions, which complete the mosaic of Strindberg’s reception in Greece. These events are examined in relation to a wider European context, which often plays a decisive role in shaping the Greek framework of his reception. In each analyzed text, the reader is provided with data for the period of Strindberg’s writing to which that text belongs, for the author himself and his influences, as well as comparative data for the most significant Swedish, European and American theatrical productions or translations that preceded the aforementioned Greek performance or translation. At the same time, the successive stages of this process, in all its aspects, are traced, from the first acquaintance with and strong reactions to his work to the gradual acceptance of his significance.

In the ninth and final chapter of the thesis the conclusions are presented.The reception of Strindberg is studied in relation to the reception of important foreign movements in Greece (such as Naturalism), as well as with the most important domestic movements (e.g. ‘dimotikismos’), with literary phenomena (e.g. the so called ‘Nord-manie’ or ‘Northern attraction’) and with other Scandinavian writers (mainly Ibsen). At the same time, the Greeks who contributed decisively to the translation, stage presentation and introduction of the Swedish author are examined, as well as the frequency with which they resort to his works.

The thesis concludes with an Appendix, which includes an analytical database of Greek theatre productions, from the first performance at the dawn of the 20th century to the present day. A list of critical reviews for each performance is provided. Additionally, a catalog of Greek translations is also included, in which both published and unpublished translations are listed.

Maria Sechopoulou, Department of Theatre Studies, University of Athens.