The question of unreliability in autobiographical narration

Res Cogitans 13 (1) (2018)


In the year 2001 Kristian Ditlev Jensen, a young Danish journalist and former literary student, published a book by the title Det bliver sagt. Here he told of the sexual abuses he suffered as a child in a relationship with a pedophile adult friend, called Gustav in the book. The book became a sensation, not only due to its shocking content but also because of its astonishing literary qualities. It has the suspense of a page turner and at the same time it is an analytical intelligent autobiography: it tells the everlasting story of how an individual person on his specific terms is confronted with the world and struggles to find his place in it. It is furthermore a kind of journalist documentary, where the same person is the investigator and part of the story being investigated. How should one read and respond critically to a book of this complex nature?

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