December 11, 2012
From the Telos Press Blog:
On Translating Ernst Jünger's The Adventurous Heart: An Interview with Thomas Friese
Maxwell Woods: In your preface to The Adventurous Heart, by Ernst Jünger, you write that "this book hooked me on the author for life." What is it about this particular book that you found so captivating? Do you find yourself returning to this book in your studies of Jünger? Of Jünger's work does this book hold a special place for you?
Thomas Friese: First impressions obviously have special value, and The Adventurous Heart was my first encounter with Jünger. It was an ideal start, since this book is a concise introduction to the worldview of the mature author. Ideally, all new readers would come to Jünger via this book—there are certainly worse ways, which are unfortunately also more common—i.e., through Der Arbeiteror Storms of Steel, or, worse still, through clichéd second-hand opinions.
I was also lucky enough to have encountered Jünger in an open, non-partisan context, among a group of people, the Association Eumeswil of Florence, who had already discovered the author's value and had no political agenda behind that interest. (In fact, my first reading of the book was in Quirino Principe's excellent Italian translation.) Unfortunately many encounter Jünger in a heavily ideological milieu, discolored by political stereotypes, which, whether left or right, equally detract from the true value of the author.