29 June 2010

Recomendation: August Strindbergs Inferno

Title: August Strindbergs Inferno
Translation: August Strindberg's Inferno
By: Fabian Göranson
Language: Swedish
160 pages, colour, hard cover
Kolik Förlag, 2010
ISBN: 978917610384

This was a highly anticipated book, which actually lived up to all the hype. The Swedish artist Fabian Göranson has used the world-famous author August Strindberg's (in)famous novel/dairy Inferno as the starting point for this graphic novel. This is far from a dull Classics Illustrated, though. Göranson is one of the most interesting Swedish comics artists today, and his version of Strindberg's novel is a piece of art all in itself.

Inferno is a strange novel to start with, combining the diary of a person heading straight into a a delusional state of paranoia and ideas occultism and Swedenborgianism with a formal treatment of story and language that makes many refer to Inferno as the first truly modern Swedish novel. Göransson manages to add to this, using the visual language of comics to enhance the feeling of mentally heading for Hell, using many quite graphic story telling devices normally associated with more "low brow" comics. All in all a great book, showing that it is possible to use a novel as a starting point for a comic, without making it into a boring exercise of trying to be as "true" as possible to the original.
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