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177

(1913) [MARC] Author: August Strindberg Translator: Claud Field
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making me fall a victim to persecution-mania. For
five minutes I have rest, while my eyes are
fastened on the black square of the window;
then an invisible something glides over my body,
and I stand up. I remain standing in the
middle of the room like a statue for hours,
half-conscious, turned to stone, I know not whether
awake or asleep.

Who gives me the strength to suffer? Who
denies me the power, and delivers me over to
torments? Is it He, the Lord of life and death,
Whose wrath I have provoked, when, influenced
by the pamphlet The Joy of Dying, I tried to
die, and considered myself already ripe for
eternal life? Am I Phlegyas doomed to the pains
of Tartarus for his pride, or Prometheus, who,
because he revealed the secret of the powers to
mortals, was torn by the vulture?

(While I am writing this, I think of the scene
in the sufferings of Christ when the soldiers spit
in His face, some buffet Him and others strike
Him with rods and say to Him, “Tell us, who is
he that smote thee?”

Perhaps my old companions in Stockholm re-
member that orgy when the author of this book
played the rôle of the soldier?)

Who has struck thee? A question without an

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