There are Crimes and Crimes
27 Installments—Entirely free
Maurice is a Parisian playwright on the brink of his first major success in August Strindberg’s 1899 play There are Crimes and Crimes. On the day of his play’s debut, Maurice is so sure of his future renown as a dramatist that he proposes marriage to his mistress, Jeanne. Artistic passion soon gives way to more carnal motives when, on the same day, Maurice encounters the beautiful Henriette, who happens to be the mistress of a friend. The attraction is mutual and overpowering: Maurice and Henriette are soon lost in one another, completely swept up in their newfound connection. As they realize all too quickly, however, no one is exempt from the consequences of his or her actions, and Maurice and Henriette’s relationship will soon be marred by an unthinkable tragedy. Heated passions, painful decisions, crimes, and repentance are brought to life in There are Crimes and Crimes,making it a satisfying and rich work from a master of modern drama.
Back to top
Born in Sweden to a comfortable family, August Strindberg (1849-1912) was educated at elite private schools before attending college. He worked in a chemist’s shop and dabbled in teaching for brief period while still in school, alternately leaving and then returning to his studies in chemistry and medicine. Perhaps a turning point in his life, Strindberg took an opportunity to work as an extra with the Royal Theater in Stockholm, and from then on resolved to become a playwright. Strindberg plunged into a literary life, turning out plays, founding a literary club, and writing for newspapers in Stockholm. Outspoken and progressive, often critical of authority in any form, Strindberg was a distinctly modern playwright. His best-known works include Miss Julie, The Dance of Death, A Dream Play, and The Ghost Sonata. Strindberg’s plays remain a challenging but undeniably important presence in the history of European drama.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
WATCHMAN. [Enters and goes up to JEANNE] Look here, this is no playground.
WATCHMAN. All right, but you're not allowed to pick any flowers.
JEANNE. [To MARION] Drop the flowers, dear.
ABBE. [Comes forward and is saluted by the WATCHMAN] Can't the child play with the flowers that have been thrown ...