August Strindberg: Absinthe Drinker

August Strindberg (1849 – 1912) was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter.

Why don’t you take some absinthe? Are you afraid of it? Look at the bottle! It heals those who have been wounded on the battlefield, friends and foes alike…
– “The Red Room”, Chapter 14: Absinthe

I had to sit in the hall by the coachmen’s table and drink absinthe – why should I drink cognac?
– “Here and There”

Here in the valley, protected from northerly winds… the treasured absinthe-herb is grown, which now in spring lies like small gray-green pillows on the newly dug beds.
– “Among French Farmers”

Here in France… the beverages are despite the high taxes not expensive… an Absinthe [costs] 15 [centimes].
– “Among French Farmers”

Soon I am on a sofa next to a perfectly frappéd absinthe by the open window. The sun goes down, and now people are starting to liven up the streets. As only a few cars are in motion, the driveway is without a care taken over by art makers and exhibitors and tables and chairs are moved out into the street and it’s time for L’Heure de l’Absinthe.
– “Among French Farmers”

“He, who has had the common habit of drinking green absinthe, shall with disgust put a white one to his lips. This happened to me in Switzerland, where I used to have a six o’clock absinthe to rest my nerves at such a bringer of joy. One day I am served a white product of this, which I sent back as being awful, with the request of a green one. The waiter answers me, that they have no green.
– “Flower Paintings and Animal Pieces”

A good absinthe comforts me for a few minutes, then I am attacked by a bunch of cocottes and students who beat me in my face with sticks, and like chased by furies I leave my absinthe behind and hurry to get a new one in café François Premier at Boulevard Saint-Michel.
– “Inferno”


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