Man and Animality in the “Fables” of August Strindberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


The paper focuses on a suite of fable texts from the modern epoch, the “Fables” of August Strindberg, written in the 1880s. In most of these ten prose fables the protagonists are anthropomorphized animals, one of the facts clearly connecting the suite with the Aesopic tradition, which Strindberg was highly familiar with. The basic message of the Aesopic genre – the rejection of man’s animality as the source of moral vice – is, however, inverted by Strindberg. The Swedish author, in the 1880s adopting a primitivistic outlook, instead tries to reclaim the animal nature of the human being and proposes social reforms liberating man from the yoke of culture. Strindberg’s concept of what might be called a naturalistic fable and its controversy with the traditional genre model sheds light on – that is the main thesis of the paper – some of the historical factors causing fundamental problems for the Aesopic fable to function in the literary culture after 1800.


External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Languages and Literature


  • animal fable, August Strindberg, genre transformation, modern breakthrough, animality, morality, criticism of civilization, primitivism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication[Host publication title missing]
PublisherUniversité de Provence & Société Internationale Renardienne
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes
EventAutour du Roman de Renart. Récits brefs et ménageries littéraires, linguistiques ou iconographiques - Aix-en-Provence
Duration: 2011 Sep 212011 Sep 24


ConferenceAutour du Roman de Renart. Récits brefs et ménageries littéraires, linguistiques ou iconographiques