August Strindberg is one of Sweden’s best-known authors, both nationally and internationally. In addition to works such as The Red Room, Natives of Hemsö, Master Olof, The Father and Miss Julie, From an Occult Diary occupies a special place in his works.
Strindberg was born in Stockholm in 1849 and died in 1912. He lived in a time when the foundation was being laid for the modern Sweden, and he played an active part in the debate. Strindberg was both hated and loved. A large funeral procession followed the controversial, richly faceted cultural personality to his final resting place in Norra kyrkogården cemetery in Solna.
Strindberg’s interests spanned a very broad range of areas. In his early days he experimented with photography. Painting was another important part of his artistry. He followed contemporary developments in natural science with interest. He carried out experiments himself, but many established scientists felt that Strindberg’s methods were unreliable. Questions about the structure of nature, alchemy and the production of gold engaged him for much of his life.
Cultural history was tremendously important to Strindberg. The book Svenska folket i helg och söcken (Swedes on weekdays and Sundays) was a broad portrayal of life in Sweden. Gamla Stockholm (Old Stockholm) depicted everyday life in the city, and all kinds of customs and practices.
Strindberg knew Artur Hazelius, who founded Nordiska museet in 1873 and Skansen in 1891. Strindberg contributed ideas and acquired objects for the museum’s collections. After Strindberg’s death, much of his property came to Nordiska museet.