Friday, December 02, 2005

Strindberg's Preface to the play Miss Julie

"Miss Julie is a modern character which does not mean that the man-hating half-woman has not existed in every age, just that she has now been discovered, has come out into the open and made herself heard. Victim of a superstition (one that has seized even stronger minds) that woman, this stunted form of human being who stands between man, the lord of creation, the creator of culture, [and the child], is meant to be the equal of man or could ever be, she involves herself in an absurd struggle in which she falls. Absurd because a stunted form, governed by the laws of propagation, will always be born stunted and can never catch up with the one in the lead, according to the formula: A (the man) and B (the woman) start from the same point C; A (the man) with a speed of, let us say, 100 and B (the woman) with a speed of 60. Now, the question is, when will B catch up with A? - Answer: Never! Neither with the help of equal education, equal voting rights, disarmament, or temperance - no more than two parallel lines can ever meet and cross.

"The half-woman is a type who thrusts herself forward and sells herself nowadays for power, decorations, honours, or diplomas as formerly she used to do for money. She is synonymous with degeneration. It is not a sound species for it does not last, but unfortunately it can propagate itself and its misery in the following generation; and degenerate men seem unconsciously to select their mates among them so that they increase in number and produce creatures of uncertain sex for whom life is a torment. Fortunately, however, they succumb, either because they are out of harmony with reality or because their repressed instincts erupt uncontrollably or because their hopes of attaining equality with men are crushed. The type is tragic, offering the spectacle of a desperate struggle against nature, a tragic legacy of Romanticism which is now being dissipated by Naturalism, the only aim of which is happiness. And happiness means strong and sound species."

Boys are great.

3 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Unsane said...

The truly hilarious thing is that males who propagate THEIR OWN superstition that women are a creature apart from them, either by force of their inferiority, or by virtue of having very little in common with them, produce the NECESSARY OUTCOME of this assumption -- being either marital strife, or just a subjective sense of voidness or dull emptiness, when it comes to cross-gender interaction. 

Posted by Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Of course Strindberg was and is justly famous for his misogyny. I think the only one worse in the 'pantheon' of 'modern' European lit would be Karl Krauss, but of course he's almost unknown here. Cheers, 'VJ'  

Posted by VJ

Anonymous said...

Waaiiit--so when men get diplomas, they're smart, when we get the same diplomas, we're some kind of intellectual whores except not since our intellects are so inferior? Got it. 

Posted by Ismone