ERNST JUENGER NOVELS & GERMAN CONSERVATISM

October 22, 2006 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Books, Germany, Globalization, History, Literary, Philosophy | Leave a comment

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Ernst Jünger

(March 29, 1895February 17, 1998)

Ernst Jünger, (March 29, 1895February 17, 1998) was a German author of novels and accounts of his war experiences. Many regard him as one of Germany‘s greatest modern writers and a hero of the conservative revolutionary movement following World War I. Others dismiss him as a militarist and reactionary.

Life and work

He was born in Heidelberg and grew up in Hanover as the son of a pharmacist. Jünger went to school between the years of 1901 and 1913 and was member of the “Wandervogel” movement. He ran away from home to join the French Foreign Legion where he served in North Africa.
During World War I he served with distinction in the
German Army on the Western Front. In September of 1918 he was awarded Germany’s highest military decoration of that time, the Pour le Mérite (informally known as the “Blue Max”). Received as a Lieutenant at the age of 23, he was one of the youngest soldiers
to ever be given this award.

This time of war is described in The Storm of Steel (German title: In Stahlgewittern) which was published in 1920. An autobiographical account of his adventures, it has been seen as somewhat war-glorifying, especially in comparison to the other major German WWI work, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque.

Jünger served as a lieutenant in the army of the Weimar Republic until his demobilisation in 1923. He studied marine biology, zoology, botany and philosophy and became a well-known entomologist. He married Gretha von Jeinsen (* 1906 – 1960) in 1925; they had two children, Ernst (1926-1944) and Alexander (1934-1993).

In the 1920s Jünger published articles in several right-wing nationalist journals, and further novels. As in Storm of Steel, in the book Feuer und Blut (1925, “Fire and Blood”) Jünger glorified war as an internal event. He criticized the democracy of the Weimar Republic, but he did not activelysupport the National Socialist movement around Hitler. Jünger refused the offer to head the Nazi Writer’s Union.

In 1927 he moved to Berlin. The Adventurous Heart
(1929, German title: Das abenteuerliche Herz).

In Über Nationalismus und Judenfrage (1930, “On Nationalism and the Jewish Question”) Jünger describes the Jews as a threat for the Germans. In 1932 he published The Worker (German title: Der Arbeiter), which called for the creation of a totally mobilized society run by warrior-worker-scholars.

Jünger left Berlin in 1933, his house was searched by the Gestapo secret police, and from 1938 he was banned from writing.

On the Marble Cliffs (1939, German title: Auf den Marmorklippen) uses metaphor to describe Jünger’s perceptions of the situation in Hitler’s Germany. He served in World War II as an army captain. Assigned to an administrative position in Paris, he socializedwith prominent artists of the day such as Picasso and Jean Cocteau. His early time in France is described in his diary Gärten
und Straßen
(1942, “Gardens and Roads”).

Jünger appears on the fringes of the Stauffenberg bomb plot. He was clearly an inspiration to anti-Nazi conservatives in the German Army, and while in Paris he was close to the officers who carried out the assassination attempt against Hitler. He was not directly involved in the events however, and in the aftermath suffered only dismissal from the army (summer of 1944), rather than execution. His elder son Ernst jr., then a Kriegsmarine cadet,
died later that year during internment in a Nazi German
military penal camp in occupied Italy, where
he had been sentenced to for engaging in “subversive discussions” in his Wilhelmshaven Naval Academy.

After the war, Junger was initially under some suspicion for his nationalist past, and he was banned from publishing in Germany for several years by the British occupying forces. His work The Peace (German title: Der Friede), written in 1943 and published abroad in 1947, marked the end of his involvement in politics. Rehabilitated by the 1950s, he went on to be regarded as a towering figure of German literature. He remained highly controversial though in the eyes of the German Left, both for his past, and his ongoing role as conservative philosopher and icon.

His diaries from 1939 to 1949 were published under the title Strahlungen (1948, “Radiations”).
In the 1950s and 1960s Jünger travelled extensively. His first wife, Gretha, died in
1960, and in 1962 he married Liselotte Lohrer. He continued writing prodigiously his
entire life, publishing more than 50 books.

Jünger was among the forerunners of magical realism.

His vision in The Glass Bees (1957, German
title: Gläserne Bienen), of a future in which an overmechanized world threatens
individualism, could be seen as
science
fiction
.

A sensitive poet with training in botany and zoology, as well as a soldier, his works in general are infused with tremendous details of the natural world. His critics claim there is an excess of emotional control and precision in his writing. In 1981 he was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca.

Throughout his whole life he had experimented with drugs such as ether, cocaine, and hashish; and later in life he used mescaline and LSD. These experiments were recorded comprehensively in Annäherungen (1970, “Approaches”). The novel Besuch auf Godenholm (1952, “Visit to Godenholm”) is clearly influenced by his early experiments with mescaline and LSD.
He met several times with LSD inventor
Albert Hofmann and they took LSD together. Hofmann’s memoir LSD,
My Problem Child
describes some of these meetings.

Jünger’s 100th birthday on March 29, 1995, was met with praise from many quarters, including the socialist French president François Mitterrand.

Jünger was a friend of Martin Heidegger. Jünger was
admired by Julius Evola who published a book called L’Operaio nel pensiero di Ernst Juenger (1960), in which he summarized The Worker.

On September 26th, 1996
Ernst Jünger, by then actively believing in Jesus Christ,
converted to the Roman Catholic Church and began
to receive the Sacraments.

Ernst Jünger died on February 17, 1998
in Riedlingen, Swabia, the last living bearer of the military version of the order of the Pour
le Mérite
.

His brother Friedrich
Georg Jünger
(1898-1977) was a poet and essayist. His younger son Alexander, a
physician, committed suicide in 1993.

Bibliography

Selected works

  • In Stahlgewittern,
  • 1920The
    Storm of Steel
    (ISBN
    0865273103
    )

  • Der Kampf als inneres Erlebnis,
  • 1922

  • Das Wäldchen 125Copse
    125
    : A Chronicle from the Trench Warfare of 1918 (ISBN 0865273790)
  • Feuer und Blut, 1925
  • Das abenteuerliche Herz, 1929 –
  • The Adventurous Heart

  • Die totale Mobilmachung, 1931
  • Der Arbeiter, Herrschaft und Gestalt, 1932 –
  • The
    Worker
    : Dominion and Gestalt
    (ISBN
    0791404099
    )

  • Geheimnisse der Sprache, 1934
  • Blätter und Steine, 1934
  • Afrikanische Spiele, 1936
  • Auf den Marmorklippen,
  • 1939On the
    Marble Cliffs
    (ISBN
    0140029850
    )

  • Gärten und Straßen1942
  • Myrdun. Briefe aus Norwegen, 1943
  • Der Friede, 1947The Peace
  • Atlantische Fahrt, 1947
  • Sprache und Körperbau, 1947
  • Ein Inselfrühling, 1948
  • Heliopolis, 1949
  • Strahlungen, 1949
  • Über die Linie, 1950
  • Der Waldgang, 1951
  • Besuch auf Godenholm, 1952
  • Der Gordische Knoten, 1953
  • Das Sanduhrbuch, 1954
  • Am Sarazenenturm, 1955
  • Rivarol, 1956
  • Serpentara, 1957
  • Gläserne Bienen, 1957 – The
    Glass Bees
    (ISBN
    0374521735
    )
  • San Pietro, 1957
  • Jahre der Okkupation, 1958
  • An der Zeitmauer, 1959
  • Sgraffiti, 1960
  • Der Weltstaat, 1960
  • Ein Vormittag in Antibes, 1960
  • Das spanische Mondhorn, 1963
  • Sturm, 1963
  • Geheimnisse der Sprache, 1963
  • Typus, Name, Gestalt, 1963
  • Werke, 1961-1965 (10 vols.)
  • Grenzgänge, 1966
  • Subtile Jagden, 1967
  • Im Granit, 1967
  • Federbälle, 1969
  • Annäherungen: Drogen und Rausch, 1970
  • Ad hoc, 197
  • Lettern und Ideogramme, 1970
  • Sinn und Bedeutung, 1971
  • Die Zwille, 1973
  • Zahlen und Götter; Philemon und Baukis, 1974
  • Eumeswil, 1977 – Eumeswil
    (ISBN 0941419975)
  • Sämtliche Werke, 1979 ff (18 vols.)
  • Paul Léautaud in Memoriam, 1980
  • Siebzig Verweht, 1980-81
  • Flugträume, 1983
  • Aladins Problem, 1983 – Aladdin’s Problem
    (ISBN 070430208X)
  • Autor und Autorschaft, 1984
  • Eine gefährliche Begegnung, 1985 – A Dangerous Encounter
    (ISBN 0941419371)
  • Zwei Mal Halley, 1987
  • Die Schere, 1990

Books about Jünger

links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_J%C3%BCnger

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