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Moment of Freedom: The Heiligenberg Manuscript Paperback – May 16, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Dufour Editions (May 16, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802313280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802313287
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,279,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Moment Of Freedom ($15.95 paperback original; May 17; 218 pp.; 0-8023-1328-0): A new translation of the 1966 novel that begins Norwegian master Bjrneboes celebrated History of Bestiality trilogy. That highly charged phrase is also the title of the 12-volume anatomy of human depravity compiled by its protagonist, a morose court clerk whose saturnine psyche essentially resembles that of Dostoevskys misanthropic Underground Man. But this novel, like Dostoevskys, is much more than simple rant, for Bjrneboe skillfully juxtaposes jeremiads leveled at global iniquities (Nazism, the bombing of Hiroshima) with his narrators memories of encounters with vividly depicted and variously flawed other people, as well as of his own failings and hypocrisies. The result is harshly comic and richly disturbing fictionand one eagerly awaits the forthcoming later volumes of the trilogy. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Norwegian

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary Kern on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jens Bjorneboe is the greatest failed novelist of the twentieth
century. His masterwork is considered the trilogy roughly called
"the History of Bestiality"--roughly, because the title actually
belongs to a twelve-volume project of his autobiographical
narrator, which is unfinished. The trilogy therefore does not
present such a history itself, but rather the experiences of
that profoundly disturbed character, along with his morbid
reflections, painful memories and alarming dreams, plus
recitations of horrible happenings drawn from his grisly
research. Not one of the novels is without structural flaws, but
each communicates a rage against cruelty and brutality with a
force that is rare in fictional literature.
MOMENT OF FREEDOM (1966) is the first of the three novels and is
virtually formless. It seems that the author cannot master his
material--the whole history of man's inhumanity to man--with a
calm analysis or fit it into a standard artistic structure, but
rather recoils in pain, retreats into dismal reflections,
indulges in sarcastic tirades, describes petty officials and
deranged villagers as monsters, relives the atrocities of the
Nazis and Communists, remembers himself wading through blood and
most of all intoxicates himself, all without any apparent order.
The effect is disorienting, but at the same time invigorating,
since it brings an electric awareness of being caught up in
something horrifyingly real. Here is someone violently
disturbed, speaking straight from the heart, grabbing you like
a bloodied, but eloquent victim of an attack. You can't expect
his urgent report to be neat and tidy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bruno De Wachter (bruno.dewachter@forte.be) on May 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
Somewhere in this book Bjorneboe wrote: "Within 10 years my knowledge of the world will be so big that it must lead to self-destruction." Exactly 10 years later, he committed suicide. A remarkable fact that shows which atmosphere this novel breathes. It is a semi-autobiographical story about absolute freedom and absolute loneliness - two sides of one coin. About depression, about 20th century Europe and about the bestiality of mankind. Despite its pitch-black vision on humanity, it is also a very funny book. A masterpiece in irony and cynism!
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By Miki on September 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not your average pacifistic book, not at all. It is brutal, and it is, still, the most pacifistic book I ever read.
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