Jünger, Ernst

Tagged: Author

(1895-1998) German author – his surname is sometimes given in English as Juenger – active from about 1912, when his first poems were published. His early works reflected his experiences in World War One, the hellishness of which he responded to directly in Kriegstagebuch 1914-1918 ["War Diaries"] (2010), and came to treat as a (to put it crudely) chivalric challenge, a philosophy reflected in his most famous book, In Stahlgewittern: Aus dem Tagebuch eines Stosstruppführers (1920; trans Basil Creighton as The Storm of Steel 1929); he treated the remainder of the twentieth century (he was active as a writer until 1997) as a similar ordeal, a nightmare of history to which the only response was reckless "chivalric" submission and/or Transcendence. Because he saw the past century as an ontologically dense, coherent story, his work is relevant to the fantastic as a whole. Auf den Marmorklippen (1939; trans Stuart Hood as On the Marble Cliffs 1947) – though its status as a classic of resistance to Nazism has been somewhat shaken by analysis of its broodingly passive austerity regarding political action – is a peculiarly resonant allegory of the destruction of a civilized country by an Invasion of vandal-like conquerors led by a corroded version of Wotan in the form of a Wild Huntsman, a vision which may have influenced Sarban's The Sound of his Horn (1952); it is a significant contribution to German literature as regards World War Two, as suggested by Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) in Aufsätze zur Zeitgeschichte (coll 1946; trans Elizabeth Welsh and others as Essays on Contemporary Events 1947).

Heliopolis: Rückblick auf eiene Stadt ["Heliopolis: Looking Back on a City"] (1949; cut 1950), an ironical Utopia set in an unspecific Near Future on the coast of the Mediterranean, remains untranslated. Die Gläserne Bienen (1957; trans Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Mayer as The Glass Bees 1960) applies an allegorical mode to the story of the creation and use of Robot bees for industrial work; Eumeswil (1977; trans Joachim Neugroschel 1993) is narrated by Manuel Venator, house historian of the dictator Condor in a Near Future totalitarian Dystopia; he describes his attempts to subvert Condor's rule through lessons learned from previous epochs, which he accesses via a Time Viewer, experiences which lead him conceive of the perfect human being as an "anarch", a being who obeys the external world but is internally as autonomous as Jünger himself seemed to be over almost a century of activity. Aladins Problem (1983; trans Joachim Neugroschel as Aladdin's Problem 1992) is a Fabulation in which an aristocratic deserter from the German army takes over an American funeral home, expanding it into an enormous necropolis. [JC]

see also: Germany; Longevity (in Writers and Publications).

Ernst Jünger

born Heidelberg, Germany: 29 March 1895

died Riedlingen, Swabia, Germany: 17 February 1998

works

works (selected)

  • Auf den Marmor-Klippen (Hamburg, Germany: Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt, 1939) [title is also given as Auf den Marmorklippen: hb/]
    • On the Marble Cliffs (London: John Lehmann, 1947) [trans by Stuart Hood of the above: in the publisher's Modern European Library series: hb/Leonard Rosoman]
  • Heliopolis: Rückblick auf eine Stadt ["Heliopolis: Looking Back on a City"] (Tübingen, Germany: Heliopolis Verlarg, 1949) [hb/]
  • Die Gläserne Bienen (Stuttgart, Germany: Klett-Cotta, 1957) [hb/]
    • The Glass Bees (New York: The Noonday Press/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1960) [trans by Louise Bogan and Elizabeth Mayer of the above: hb/Nancy Webb]
  • Eumeswil (Stuttgart, Germany: Klett-Cotta, 1977) [hb/]
    • Eumeswil (Hygiene, Colorado: The Eridanos Library/New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1993) [trans by Joachim Neugroschell of the above: hb/from Max Ernst]
  • Aladins Problem (Stuttgart, Germany: Klett-Cotta, 1983) [hb/]
    • Aladdin's Problem (New York: Marsilio Publishers, 1992) [trans by Joachim Neugroschel of the above: hb/from Paul Citroën]

nonfiction

about the author

links

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