Article ID: CBB045379834

Seeing Things: The Dilemma of Visual Subjectivity at the Dawn of the Bacteriological Age in Strindberg's The Father (2016)


This essay presents a new reading of Strindberg’s The Father in the light of developing lens technology during the late nineteenth century. By situating this play within the late-nineteenth-century material culture of microscopes and alongside Strindberg’s own writings about his encounters with microscopic experimentation, the essay exposes the play as darkly comedic, upending its traditional reading as a tragedy. Recasting the play in this light concomitantly allows for further awareness of its wholesale rejection of the notion that knowledge of objective truth is possible, with science or any other epistemological system. Contextualizing the scientific influences on Strindberg’s often very spiritual dramas, then, cyclically allows for even greater awareness of the contemporary scientific rhetoric—often vicious critiques of it—packaged into his dramatic cosmology, expanding the ways in which he must be understood as one of the first Modernist playwrights.

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Review Rebecka Klette (2016) Review of "Seeing Things: The Dilemma of Visual Subjectivity at the Dawn of the Bacteriological Age in Strindberg's The Father". Journal of Literature and Science (pp. 52-53). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Malabou, Catherine
Constable, Marianne
Davis, Whitney
Wintroub, Michael
Thompson, Charis
Daston, Lorraine J.
Perspectives on Science
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Asclepio: Archivo Iberoamericano de Historia de la Medicina
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology
Cornell University Press
Princeton University
Wayne State University
University of California, Davis
University of California, Berkeley
Antique Telescope Society
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Technology and literature
Euler, Leonhard
Fresnel, Augustin Jean
Kant, Immanuel
Natorp, Paull
Haeckel, Ernst
Strindberg, August
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
17th century
16th century
Great Britain
Northern Europe

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