EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772), AUGUST STRINDBERG (1849-1912) Страница 2 of 12
in art and literature for the creation and decoding of the associative imagery and the symbolism of aesthetic works ( the importance of this method finds its confirmation in a considerable part of August Strindberg’s work).
This paper is devoted to tracing the impact of Swedenborgianism on August Strindberg as a writer who shows a marked preference for encyclopedic synthesis. In this synthetic worldview we discern elements of ancient Gnostic schools; Aristotelian logic and metaphysics; mysticism combined with then contemporary theoretical approaches and categories; scientific discoveries that have crucial applications; not only visions but also well-founded statements about mankind’s historical and meta-historical development, and more specifically about mankind’s technological, social and cultural progress, about its potential to overcome the increasing vacuum in the sphere of the spiritual, which a hypertrophic science will prove powerless to fill.
Elaborating on this subject involves, on the one hand, tracing and highlighting the similarities between the two great Swedes and the ages they lived in, while at the same time pointing out the differences between them. These differences, however, do not challenge the rationale for drawing a parallel, nor do they undermine the statement of an analogy between the two, both in the broad and in the strict sense of the word. There is actually an analogy here in the truly Swedenborgian sense of the word, i.e. as a synonym of harmony. The common ground between the writer and the mystic amounts to their similar perception of the Universe as an infinite totality of mutually related worlds, as some kind of prosody or a majestic poem made of rhythms and symbols. The doctrine of correspondences has been transformed into a peculiar aesthetic formula, a mathematically designed and calculated yet romantically elevated dream of a visionary access beyond the veil of Nature and discursive language. The yearning for whatever lies beyond the phenomenal world is peculiar to the worldview and the spirit of Romanticism, whose forerunner and revered icon Swedenborg is. Strindberg actually incorporates Swedenborgianism into his own specific complex of ideas and aesthetic perceptions, which corresponds to a particular outlook on life. This complex has provided impetus for a poeticized recreation of the absolute, which has contributed to the development of a radically new way of writing. It has made possible the structural and stylistic experiments within the framework of modernism, which have opened up the space for dynamic transformations in the sphere of art. For the Author of Heaven and Hell, A Hieroglyphic Key to Natural and Spiritual Arcana, as well as for the author of Inferno, The Road to Damascus, Dream Play, Ghost Sonata, everything – objects and phenomena, words and elements, natural conditions and emotions – have a meaning that lies beyond the quotidian, beyond what we regard as instinctive. They are all correspondences and symbols of higher truths. Like all components of the visible