August Strindberg, circa 1891

August Strindberg, circa 1891. Amateur alchemist. “I haven’t a sou left, and my tobocca and postage stamps run out. Then I rally my willpower for a last attempt: I will make gold … I manage to borrow some money and procure the necessary apparatus: an oven, smelting-saucepans, wood-coals, bellows, and tongs. The heat is terrific and, like a workman in a smithy, I sweat before the open fire, stripped to the waits. But sparrows have built their nests in the chimney, and smoke pours out of it and into the room.”

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