Monday, September 13

Born to be free, Jens Bjørneboe

I have just opened my last acquired book "Born to be Free" (Født til Frihet, en biografi om Jens Bjørneboe) written in Norwegian by Tore Rem. It is a huge brick of 685 pages, and I am looking forward to start reading.
I bought my first Jens Bjørneboe book in 1970 when the essay collection "Vi som elsket Amerika" (We who loved America) was published.
The book covers essays about U.S. war crimes, the problems of socialism, freedom of expression, persecution of dissidents in the Soviet Union, prison service, youth and the labor movement.

I do not lie when I say that this book opened my eyes to the political situation in Norway and the world after the May 1968 protest, and was a major contribution (in addition to Cohn-Bendit (Danny the Red)´s book Obsolete Communism: The Left-Wing Alternative (1968) to my personal development in the early 70s.
The next book I bought from the writer Bjørneboe was "Frihetens Øyeblikk" (Moment of Freedom).
'Moment of Freedom' is the first novel in this great Norwegian novelist’s “History of Bestiality” trilogy. Upon its first publication in 1966, Moment of Freedom was widely acclaimed in Europe as a masterpiece, and a major work of Norwegian post-war literature.
Today my bookshelf covers all of Bjørneboe´s work:


  • Duke Hans (Hertug Hans, 1972)
  • Ere the Cock Crows (Før hanen galer, 1952)
  • Jonas (1955)
  • Under a Harsher Sky (Under en hårdere himmel, 1957)
  • Winter in Bellapalma (Vinter i Bellapalma, 1958)
  • Little Boy Blue (Blåmann, 1959)
  • The Evil Shepherd (Den onde hyrde, 1960)
  • The Dream and the Wheel (Drømmen og hjulet, 1964), about author Ragnhild Jølsen
  • Moment of Freedom (Frihetens øyeblikk, 1966) (translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, Norvik Press / Dufour, 1999)
  • Without a Stitch (Uten en tråd, 1966)
  • Powderhouse (Kruttårnet, 1969) (translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, Norvik Press / Dufour, 2000)
  • The Silence (Stillheten, 1973) (translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, Norvik Press / Dufour, 2000)
  • The Sharks (Haiene, 1974) (translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, Norvik Press / Dufour, 1992)


  • Many Happy Returns (Til lykke med dagen, 1965)
  • The Bird Lovers (Fugleelskerne, 1966) (translated by Frederick Wasser, Sun&Moon Press, 1994)
  • Semmelweis (1968) (translated by Joe Martin, Sun&Moon Press, 1999)
  • Amputation (Amputasjon, 1970). Reprinted as: Amputations: Texts for an Extraordinary Spectacle (translated by Solrun Hoaas & Esther Greenleaf Mürer, Xenos Books, 2002)
  • The Torgersen Case (Tilfellet Torgersen, 1972)
  • Blue Jeans (Dongery, 1976)

Poem collections

  • Poems (Dikt, 1951)
  • Ariadne (1953)
  • The Great City (Den store by, 1958)
  • Happy Birthday (Til lykke med dagen, 1965)

Essay collections

  • Norway, my Norway (Norge, mitt Norge, 1968)
  • We Who Loved America (Vi som elsket Amerika, 1970)
  • Police and Anarchy (Politi og anarki, 1972)
The writer of his Biography, Tore Rem, is trying to give some answers of the question: Who was Jens Bjørneboe?
I am looking forward to some extended learning about a man which was a frequent guest (as I) at restaurant Casino (now closed) in Stortingsgaten, Oslo. The photo was produced by Henrik Ørsted in 1971.


Anonymous said...

Huff, æ slætta hele innlegget :-( missfornøyd med det meste om dagen. Bjørnebo, kanskje det er en mann som kan få humøret opp på ei hulder...

9na said...

Jammen er du belest ja...

RuneE said...

Jeg er redd Bjørnebo er snart glemt. Det ville være synd.