Strindberg and Helium

Courtesy of Mrs. PH, please view the Strindberg & Helium cartoons. In them, August Strindberg, the miserable, superstitious Swedish novelist and playwright, makes pronouncements on the pointlessness of existence and the evils of women and is trailed by a perky little balloon named Helium.

My favorite is “Absinthe & Women,” which features melancholy quotes taken from Inferno and from an Occult Diary. “How sweet life can be when the misery of existence is blurred by a slight intoxication. It brings some joy to this long and boring walk through the shadowland of memory,” for instance.

Strindberg characterized Inferno as (at least partial) autobiography. “The reader who believes this book is fiction is invited to read my diary which I have kept daily since 1895, and of which the above is only an expanded and organized extraction,” he once said. The book covers the author’s stay in Paris. There he drank heavily, experimented with the occult, reflected on the pointlessness of existence, and tried to get laid.

If you’re not familiar with Strindberg, read his books online, visit the Strindberg Museum, or just wear the Strindberg & Helium classic thong.

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