Sunday, December 13, 2009

An excerpt from Strindberg's "The Cloister"

This book deals with the "Schwarze Ferkel" or Black Pig bar in Berlin that Strindberg and confederates Stanislaw Przybyszewski, Edvard Munch, Dagny Juell, and others frequented. The following is part of an account of a New Year's Eve party at the bar:

"But the Russian's [Przybyszewski] musical instinct rose to the occasion, and when he interrupted this hymn to the banal with a bubbling czardas on the piano, everyone in the Knight's Hall broke into a wild dance. Strains from times immemorial awakened evil passions, reverberations from the sacrificial songs and magic chants of pagan days evoke the primeval man and, in an absolute frenzy, the Savage leapt on the table and continued the dance among the glasses and bottles which he crushed underfoot, and those that his foot could not reach he broke with his sword."

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