Jens Bjorneboe The Silence

ISBN 13: 9780802313331

The Silence

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9780802313331: The Silence

As with the first two books of this trilogy, The Silence also rejects the traditional modes of fiction to posit instead an essay-like novel of ideas, philosophy, and argumentation. Here the inquiring narrator explores not just European history, as he did in the first two novels, but the crimes committed by Europeans against the rest of humanity in the name of expansion and conquest. Set in northern Africa, the narrator is looking at Europe from the outside. With his friend Ali, an African revolutionary intellectual, he discusses in epic fashion the history of colonialism. He engages in imaginary conversations with Columbus, Robespierre, God, and Satan. He becomes totally immersed in what he perceives as the world's wickedness. Despite its presentation of horrors and man's inhumanity to man, and its grim portrayal of the narrator's long plunge into the tunnel of depression, The Silence does not depress. It praises man's immeasurable capacity for good. ""A riveting work of experimental fiction."" Library Journal

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Norwegian

From Library Journal:

Part of "The History of Bestiality" trilogy (following Moment of Freedom and Powderhouse), this is a riveting work of experimental fiction that the Norwegian-born Bjmrneboe (1920-76) completed in 1973. Over 25 years later, M rer's flowing and eloquent translation proves that time has only sharpened its message. There is no straightforward plot. Instead, in an essay-like format reminiscent of work by Sartre and Foucault, the narrator and his friend Ali discuss crimes against humanity, such as Cortez's destruction of the Aztec empire and the genocide perpetrated against the Jews. The two friends reside in an unnamed African country beset with startling imagery that neither the narrator nor the reader can easily forget. At one point, the narrator finds a cat that has been run over lying by the road, its belly gaping and its organs exposed. An animal ambulance is called to take away the still-breathing feline and end its suffering. After ruminating about the cat's death, the narrator wonders if it symbolizes the whole history of bestiality, stating, "I simply want a rebellion against the whole world order. Something is wrong at the very bottom. There lies the root of evil." Bjmrneboe's work will continue to be studied in the literary world. Recommended for all academic libraries.DLisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine Memorial P.L., OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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