Committee rules shock-lit story is pornographic, strengthening criminal case against writer (5)
A committee of experts picked by the Culture Ministry to evaluate a transgressive short story by writer Kaur Kender amid a possible criminal investigation said the work was pornographic.
The decision has no administrative power but may mean that it would be harder for Kender to claim freedom of speech protections if the case goes before a judge.
Kender has said the short story, published online on the Nihlist.fm zine late last year, was intended to test limits. Kender has a reputation as a literary bad boy and has seen his share of scandal in the past, such as when he became an unlikely and short-lived editor of a publicly funded literary newspaper.
The story, "Untitled 12," is comparable in style and content to the more objectionable passages of "American Psycho," a novel by American writer Bret Easton Ellis that resulted in a partial ban, but “Untitled 12” consists of little else besides graphic sex crimes.
The request for a committee opinion came from the Northern Prefecture criminal investigation office's children's protection service.
The committee, chaired by Tõnu Seil, said that the text portrayed in a vulgar and intrusive manner sexual acts perpetrated against children and neglected other human relationships.
Kender and his attorney Paul Keres have disputed the legality of the committee testimony in the prejudicial phase.