Instead of a defense speech

Jens Bjørneboe about Without a thread, fra Orientering October 22, 1966.

What is immoral literature! Harmful literature! Destructive literature!

In my opinion, we live in a worldwide time of crisis, which requires all our awareness, honesty and thinking ability – and the answer comes from this: immoral, harmful, destructive is the literature that puts us to sleep, harmful and dangerous is the literature that works sedative and stupefying. Destructive and destructive is all harmless literature.
We are stupid, lethargic and sleepy enough in advance.

To me, this applies to art or cultural life or the entertainment industry over my head: if these things give a false, romanticized or deceived picture of reality, they are undoubtedly harmful. Examples are escapist "historical" novels, idiotic or not!

My own perception of the seized "Without a Thread" is, of course, that it is not idiotizing. Otherwise I would not have published it.

I have not a word more to say about the morality of the case. This is my case, and I am not responsible for anything other than my own conscience. If it is affected by the penal code, it does not bother me as a writer.

At one point I will be left in sincere debt to the prosecution; they have seriously asked me a question that no critic would demand a real answer to, namely:

Why did you write the book?

Pretty much depends on the answer, and one is forced to answer it. To be able to answer, I have to ask myself the question: what motives did you really have when you wrote and published the book?

If you look a little deeper at the matter, there is no doubt that this is in fact a grace for a writer; to be taken very seriously, and to be held accountable, forced to account for what he has written and why. . .

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