The Sharks | Out of Print |
Translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer
ISBN-10: 1870041208 ISBN-13: 9781870041201
241 pages £9.95 paperback 1992 Series B No. 11
The Norwegian author Jens Bjørneboe (1920-76) was one of the most controversial figures of his day; outspoken and anarchic, he clashed with most institutions in his determination to challenge repression, censorship and authoritarianism. Novelist, poet, playwright, journalist and essayist, he poured forth a steady stream of works which were as provocative in their subject matter as they were innovative in their form.
The Sharks (1974) was Bjørneboe's last major work. Set at the end of last century, it is a thrilling tale of mutiny and shipwreck, which bears comparison with Melville's Moby Dick or Conrad's Typhoon in its suspense and its evocation of the fascination of the sea. It is also the story of mankind's voyage into the twentieth century, suspended between the empty skies and the bottomless depths, dreadfully aware of its potential for self destruction but clinging to a belief in the preservation of a fragile humanity. The narrator, Peder Jensen, is both competent second mate and unworldly philosopher, whose brain 'lacks walls, a floor and a roof'; through his eyes we follow the dismantling of the rigid power structure on board as a community begins to emerge.