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Strindberg's modern ecological subject: "Swedish nature" viewed from a train


August Strindberg's short essay "Svensk natur" ("Swedish Nature," 1901) represents an attempt to redefine Swedish national identity in terms of the country's natural environment. Strindberg follows in the footsteps of his compatriot, Carl af Linné (Linnaeus) in traveling through the landscape with an eye toward describing flora, fauna, and geological features, but Strindberg makes the journey by train, inscribing himself as a modern ecological subject. Both Linnaeus and Strindberg are thwarted in their nationalist projects by the inherent impossibility of drawing up political boundaries around natural phenomena.

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