“The Inferno” is an autobiographical novel, in which Strindberg focuses on the period during and after his stay in Paris. Written at the height of his problems with censors and women, it is filled with details about his various obsessions, such as occultism and alchemy.
In the novel, there are signs of his paranoia and neuroticism but in some parts of the book it's clear that Strindberg exaggerated a large part of it to make sure it was dramatic enough.
The narrator, Strindberg himself, is living in Paris, separated from his family, and spends a major part of his time either socializing with a bohemian Parisian crowd (but repeatedly fearing that they are mocking and persecuting him) or working with experiments in alchemy and occultism. According to Strindberg, his life is a living hell, hence the title.
August Strindberg (1849-1912) was a Swedish writer, playwright and painter and is commonly seen as one of Sweden’s most important writers. Many of his works are considered to be classics within Swedish literature and his The Red Room (1879) has frequently been described as the first modern Swedish novel and Strindberg as the father of the genre.