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Writing Madness: Deranged Impressions in Akutagawa's "Cogwheels" and Strindberg's Inferno

Writing Madness: Deranged Impressions in Akutagawa's "Cogwheels" and Strindberg's Inferno writing madness: deranged impressions in akutagawa's "cogwheels" and strindberg's INFERNO Mats Karlsson Introduction On 12 January 1917 Rynosuke Akutagawa (1892­1927) had finished reading August Strindberg's (1849­1912) novel Inferno (1897). In this novel Strindberg purports to render faithfully his "infernal" experiences of a few years earlier when he supposedly was balancing on the edge of insanity. The epilogue of the book, which was originally written in French, ends with an invitation by the author to his readers: "Le lecteur qui croit savoir que ce livre-ci soit un poème, est invité à voir mon journal tenu jour par jour depuis 1895, et duquel ceci n'est qu'un extrait amplifié, et arrangé" ["The reader who is inclined to consider that this book is a work of imagination is invited to consult the diary I wrote up day by day from 1895, of which the above is merely a version, composed of extracts expanded and rearranged"].1 Strindberg's testimonial of authenticity appears to have been accepted by Akutagawa. Having finished reading Inferno, he wrote down the following words on the inside back cover of his copy: "Kono hon o yonde kara my ni Super Stitious ni natte yowatta. Konna my na sono kuse hen http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

Writing Madness: Deranged Impressions in Akutagawa's "Cogwheels" and Strindberg's Inferno

Comparative Literature Studies , Volume 46 (4) – Jan 7, 2009

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Penn State University Press
ISSN
1528-4212
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Abstract

writing madness: deranged impressions in akutagawa's "cogwheels" and strindberg's INFERNO Mats Karlsson Introduction On 12 January 1917 Rynosuke Akutagawa (1892­1927) had finished reading August Strindberg's (1849­1912) novel Inferno (1897). In this novel Strindberg purports to render faithfully his "infernal" experiences of a few years earlier when he supposedly was balancing on the edge of insanity. The epilogue of the book, which was originally written in French, ends with an invitation by the author to his readers: "Le lecteur qui croit savoir que ce livre-ci soit un poème, est invité à voir mon journal tenu jour par jour depuis 1895, et duquel ceci n'est qu'un extrait amplifié, et arrangé" ["The reader who is inclined to consider that this book is a work of imagination is invited to consult the diary I wrote up day by day from 1895, of which the above is merely a version, composed of extracts expanded and rearranged"].1 Strindberg's testimonial of authenticity appears to have been accepted by Akutagawa. Having finished reading Inferno, he wrote down the following words on the inside back cover of his copy: "Kono hon o yonde kara my ni Super Stitious ni natte yowatta. Konna my na sono kuse hen

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Jan 7, 2009

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