Moment of Freedom: The Heiligenberg Manuscript
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Moment of Freedom: The Heiligenberg Manuscript

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  196 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In its apocalyptic view of mankind and in its haunting, devastating portrayal of justice, Moment of Freedom reminds one of Revelation and Kafka's The Trial. Living high in the Alps in a German principality called Heiligenberg, our narrator tells us he's dutifully fulfilling his obligations as a Servant of Justice and acting as a daily witness to injustice masquerading as a...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Dufour Editions (first published 1966)
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I thought about how I'd staked everything on achieving one single thing: to be at peace with the world!

With the delicate string of dismal observations and a history leading to ambiguous queries, there’s an extraordinary ambition in motion here - of discerning humanity and its bestial ways. Moment of Freedom is a vital jewel in Jens Bjørneboe’s crowning achievement which took up the task of being the first step in reaching a summit of an unnatural, blood-capped mountain raised from the dead bod...more
Lynne King
I’m utterly passionate about this Norwegian author and this first book (which is a magnificent, inspirational masterpiece and not to be missed) in the trilogy The History of Bestiality. I actually read the second book first but I do believe that they can be read separately, even though each has its own nameless narrator.

I want this glorious work of art to be unburied and give my sincere thanks to the Norvik Press which was set up by the University of East Anglia, England with financial support...more
“They were handsome, proper and normal family fathers who built the concentration camps and whipped the prisoners to death. And who was Nietzsche? A narcotized syphilitic.”

This extraordinary novel is the first of a trilogy (though each stands independent): Moment of Freedom ("Frihetens øyeblikk", 1966); Powderhouse ("Kruttårnet", 1969); and The Silence ("Stillheten", 1973). This trilogy, entitled “The History of Bestiality” (also the title of the book being composed by the unnamed narrator), is...more
Dec 20, 2013 Jimmy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who loves Sebald, Bernhard, Handke has to be like that so that injustice can take its course. 43
This book is a devastating evocation of violence, immorality, and injustice, made only slightly more palatable by the blackest of humor and a dash of literary tact to taste. For literature has always had a certain quality of a screen -- it both exposes and hides. Literature is a comfort. Think of Sebald, Bernhard and Handke, authors who come to mind when reading this one, but there is a holding back in those books, a fear that na...more
M. Sarki

First, this title came highly recommended. And the novel for me began with a bang but then quickly fizzled into something unexpected, like a personal fact-filled and chronological childhood memoir of sorts. Because of this unthinkable development my doubts rose and my spirits waned. I engaged again my reading friends and expressed to them my troubled mind. They assured me to continue on, that soon enough this author Jens would woo me in again with his hate...more
This was an amazing drunken ride, exploring myriad themes now familar with centures of Continental literature. Alienation abounds, the spirit suffers. That said, there remains a freshness to the horror, it is vivid beyond any category and narrative arc.

I had picked this up from the library and was then disconcerted to discover the trilogy is woefully out-of-print and rather difficult to locate.
Jun 23, 2014 Don rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Don by: Bettie
Shelves: norway
All is dark.

Man's inhumanity to man. This came out in the 60's, in the wake of WWII, about a decade after Lord of the Flies, which is probably the first book that I think of when it comes to the theme of "we are an evil lot we humans aren't we." But this is bigger than that. It does have something of an inchoate feel that recalls The Book of Disquiet, which would be one way to think of this - a Scandinavian Book of Disquiet. My first reflex is to yawn and say so what, what else is new. But this...more
this is an interesting novel by a norwegian writer that i had never heard of, but discovered while browsing through goodreads, as i often do. it's the first book in a trilogy in which the narrator is writing the history of bestiality in which he collects newspaper clippings, articles, photos etc. of man's inhumanity to man, of which there is a pretty much endless supply.

unfortunately, there is really very little about this project in the novel, it is only mentioned in passing a few times. instea...more
This book is remarkably sad. Bjørneboe is nihilistic and depressing, but it's all so damn beautiful at the same time. Touching on the cruelties of the human species, it's hard not to share Bjørneboe's sentiments and his bitterness and his disappointment in humanity.

It's hard, too, not to feel sympathy for Bjørneboe. He tried to take his own life at 13 - and he described it as a perfectly executed hanging that somehow went wrong - and eventually ended up taking his own life at 55.

There is this p...more
part 1 of the so-called history of beastiality trilogy by jens bjørneboe, a somewhat obscure norwegian writer, painter, and social critic. out of print (i believe), but well worth tracking down.
la Maga Rayuela
ქვეყანა ხომ ხან საპნის ბუშტებით იწყება, ხან მზის სხივებით, ხან ვარსკვლავებით და ხანაც ექსკრემენტებით. ასე უფრო ადვილი სათქმელია “დაწყება დასაწყისიდან “. მაგრამ ეს ბრჭყალებში ჩასმაც როგორ უცნაურად მოქმედებს ადამიანზე. თითქოს რაღაც გამოუთქმელად ორაზროვანს ყალბფსკერიანსა და კუზიანს აწებებ სიტყვას. მე არ ვენდობი ასეთ სიტყვებს.
როცა წიგნი დავხურე, მივხვდი, რომ ეს იყო საკუთარ თავთან შეუსაბამოდ გახდომის მომენტი. და თუ იენსს დავიმოწმებთ, გაუცხოების სწორედ ამ საფეხურით იწყება თავისუფლება. ალბათ , სწორედ ე...more
Gijs Grob
Het is gemakkelijker om van deze 'autobiografische roman' te zeggen wat het niet is dan wat het wel is: het is geen autobiografie, geen roman, geen verhaal en geen vastomlijnd boek. Het is wel een poging van een Noorse klerk in Heiligenberg, het alter-ego van Bjørneboe, om zijn geheugen, dat grote gaten bevat, terug te halen. Het resultaat is een curieuze en volstrekt richtingloze zoektocht naar herinneringen, die bol staan van drank, ellende, hoeren, ellende, reizen, drank, oorlog en ellende.

William Dearth
There is no point trying to review this awesome book as there are many excellent reviews posted on the goodreads site. I will say that there are not a lot of things here that will surprise you, but you may not have heard them explained this way or in this context.

I was fascinated with the detail he used to explain how the forests and land at Verdun, Flanders et al were revitalized by the number of corpses buried there and the metric tons of excrement left there by the hundreds of thousands of so...more
Jul 04, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as onhold  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Don
Frans Wideberg: Selvportrett (1976) 91.5 x 76 cms oil on canvas. Property of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo. Photograph Morten Thorkildsen

Original title:Frihetens øyeblikk: Heiligenberg-manuskriptet

Translated from the Norwegian by Esther Greenleaf Mürer

Opening: During the several years that I've now been a Servant of Justice, I haven't been able to avoid acquiring a certain perspective on life.

Lin Karlsen
One of my favorite authors when I was younger. This is the first part in the triology "History of bestiality". An absolute must-read
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Jens Ingvald Bjørneboe was a Norwegian writer whose work spanned a number of literary formats. He was also a painter and a waldorf school teacher. Bjørneboe was a harsh and eloquent critic of Norwegian society and Western civilization on the whole. He led a turbulent life and his uncompromising humanity would cost him both an obscenity conviction as well as long periods of heavy drinking and bouts...more
More about Jens Bjørneboe...
Jonas The Sharks Bestalitetens Historie #1-3 Kruttårnet The Silence

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