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Harding, C. (1964). Comment on Dr Lidz's Paper. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 45:406-410.

(1964). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 45:406-410

Comment on Dr Lidz's Paper

Cösta Harding

The Swedish delegates to this Congress are especially gratified that Dr Lidz has chosen to lecture on Strindberg here in Stockholm, Strindberg's native town, which he loved so well, a love that extended to the archipelago just off the coast. He has immortalized both of them; Stockholm in The Red Room and the archipelago in Hemsöborna. But his inner personal problems and disharmony drove him into exile for long periods, like his older contemporary, the brilliant Norwegian dramatist, Henrik Ibsen. It may be that the Scandinavian countries are too small to contain their great men. Perhaps the greatest of them all, Sφren Kierkegaard, whose writings had so much influence on both Ibsen and Strindberg, and whose 150th anniversary was celebrated last month, wandered unappreciated in his native city of Copenhagen, not in physical but in spiritual exile. Eccentric behaviour is perhaps tolerated more in southern latitudes.

Lidz has stressed the many problems of Strindberg's personality: a violent oedipal conflict (which, by the way, Strindberg himself recognized and described, at least so far as his relations to his mother were concerned), marked feelings of guilt, and envy of woman's natural creative ability. Lidz emphasized particularly the significance of Strindberg's first marriage to 'his schizophrenic development and to his genius'.

Lidz's lecture has led us to the heart of many difficult and unsolved problems regarding Strindberg. Here I cannot touch on more than a few of them.

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