From the convict's point of view

The trial of the author Jens Bjørneboe's book "Without a Thread" begins. The plaintiff's claim was 30 days probation and a fine of 10.000 kroner for lewd content in the book. The sentence was considerably milder. Although the court concluded that the content was clearly fornication according to section 211 of the Criminal Code, the defendants were only sentenced to symbolic fines of NOK. 100.-. This is because quantities of magazines and books were presented to the court that are on free sale in Norway today, and for which there could have been at least as much reason to take action. Here from the first day of the trial. Photo: NTB / Scanpix
Jens Bjørneboe's post on the Without a Thread judgment.

After the verdict in Oslo City Court had fallen and the seizure of Without a thread > was maintained, the book's Danish publisher could send a new edition in print: 20 copies in addition to the previous 000. Presumably new editions will also be made in Sweden.

The literary interests of the prosecution bear their fruits. Now as before. It is a surreal effect of a surreal process, and the climax has not yet been reached. The process will continue. It was started by the Attorney General, the first public prosecutor and Supreme Court lawyer Johan Hjort, and we have been promised several processes of the same kind; highly educated and cloaked men will for weeks and months continue their investigation of girls' buttocks and what is worse, – butt after butt, step by step, it will be done. The buttocks' views of life must be examined; if it is ordinary, normal, mercantile buttocks, then they should be allowed to strut on, – if, on the other hand, they are sexually nihilistic buttocks, then they should be banned from the general public.

Other standards on the buttocks are not Norwegian law.

The conclusion of the district court is in the spirit of the starting point. The prosecutor waived almost all views that have previously been decisive; he emphasized that pornography was probably without harmful effects, he did not mention the word morality, he did not emphasize whether the book had literary value or not, even the basic principle of all democratic law, namely "equality before the law", legal equality, gave the public prosecutor renounce by claiming that within this area, in the flood of sexual books and picture magazines, there were impossible to create equality of justice, – the prosecutor carried only one thought throughout: is this book fornication in the sense of the law? Daily book and this one paragraph? – Even the word "fornication" today is almost without content, was taken into account. The court should decide whether the book is adulterous in the sense of the law. But now this law has some sense?

Where, on the whole, has reason made itself, when a law is used without any other justification than that it exists? It itself was denied by the prosecutor moral significance, as well as sensible meaning, even the use of the section would lead to a violation of the rule of law, it does not serve to preserve public health or to protect the youth. It has no sense.

Other standards on the buttocks are not Norwegian law.

The court confirmed that it convicted without regard to equality before the law; the ruling states directly that one should rather take other things, which are still allowed in open trade. The court argued that Without a thread stands out favorably within its industry. It also has one morality.

But – and here it's funny: this morality is not right, it's sexually nihilistic. That is the central point of the verdict. And what is the nihilistic thing in the book? – You should not have to look for it for long. It says in another line in the preface: “There is no special sexual morality! … But only the same that applies to all areas of life, honesty, courage and ordinary humanity and consideration. " It means a great deal, namely that one replaces a magical code of morality with a sensible, rational morality. It's nihilism.

You can say whatever you want, but the authorities did not make a bad choice when they picked out this rather innocent book. The verdict involves a violation of the rule of law – but it is also a verdict for nihilism, and it is probably always, at its deepest, nihilism that society fears, the destruction of fixed norms and concepts.

It is therefore completely logical to ban the book.

From our 20-page theme about Jens Bjørneboe in the autumn issue of MODERN TIMES.

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