Strindberg’s Misogyny Revisited. The Author and His Female Translators


  • Ester Jiresch


Cultural transmission, Scandinavian literature, translators, fin-de-siècle, women writers


This article describes the cooperation and relationship between the Swedish author August Strindberg and two of his translators, Mathilde Prager and the Baltic-German Laura Marholm. Both women were of utter importance to Strindberg’s introduction to the German speaking countries as well as German literary circles. They excelled not only as translators, but acted as well as literary agents supported him enormously in situations of personal crisis. Even though their cooperation records great successes and put Strindberg on the map, they both ended less than amicable. Where money issues played a role in both cases there were significant differences in how the relationships ended. In Prager’s case the feminist’s reluctance to translate some of Strindberg’s more directly misogynist plays led to amongst others to the Authors decision to grant his sole authorisation to a younger German translator. In case of Laura Marholm the friendly relationship turned in a big disappointment for her and even into deep hatred on Strindberg’s side. Marholm herself was a very extrovert and energetic woman used to handle all her husband’s affairs. So when she tried to help Strindberg in the same way the paranoid author considered it ill-willing and dominating meddling and broke all relations to her.