August Strindberg once claimed that his novels and stories were “plays in epic form.” But Strindberg's fluid formulation of genre and medium is complicated and enriched by his understanding of narration and authorship as vampiric. In the novel The Red Room (1879) and the play The Dance of Death (1900), Strindberg attributes vampiric qualities of authorship to characters that function as narrators. Strindberg's vampires sustain themselves with language rather than blood, and the forms they use to drain their victims are inextricable from the epic narration Strindberg explicitly adapts and develops in his dramaturgy. By assigning formally generative movement across genres to vampire characters that perform the functions of narrators, Strindberg depicts dramatic character as a parasitic performance—and a locus of formal change in modern drama.
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Sarah Balkin; Strindberg's Vampiric Narrators. Genre 1 April 2013; 46 (1): 1–31. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00166928-1907382
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