January 27, 2020

Various/verschiedene Ernst Jünger Videos

After creating the English subtitles for the new ARTE/rbb documentary on Jünger I spent some time reuploading some of the older documentaries and discussions already on my channel, but in unified and not split form.

Nachdem ich die englischen Untertitel für die neue ARTE / rbb-Dokumentation auf Jünger erstellt hatte, habe ich einige Zeit damit verbracht, die älteren Dokumentarfilme und Gespräche, die sich bereits auf meinem Kanal befanden, erneut hochzuladen, jedoch in einheitlicher und nicht aufgeteilter Form.

"Ninety flown by: the author Ernst Jünger" - NDR/ORF 1985

"Neunzig Verweht - der Schriftsteller Ernst Jünger" - NDR/ORF 1985

"Ich widerspreche mir nicht - Ernst Jünger" - ZDF/3SAT, 1977
"Baden Badener Dichterclub über Ernst Jünger" - mit Rolf Hochhut, Ernst Herhaus, Jürgen Lodermann, und Klaus Theweleit. (Jahr?)

January 22, 2020

"In the Trenches of History - the author Ernst Jünger" - 2019 documentary with English subtitles!

Here's a decent documentary film on the German Goethe Prize author Ernst Jünger, produced by rbb/ARTE. i went to considerable trouble to create good English subtitles - hope they'll allow more non-German speakers to learn something of this remarkable thinker.

Source: ARTE.DE (2019) https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/082773-...

One of the better documentaries on Ernst Jünger, this relatively more balanced production is unfortunately only a partial picture - and not in the sense of being skewed by the usual ignorance level and prejudices - but because it barely covers until 1960, until his move to Wilflingen.

It thus entirely leaves out the critical mature works and themes of Jünger: Eumeswil and the anarch, the Forest Flight (Der Waldgang), The Wall of Time (An der Zeitmauer), Aladdin's Problem, Approaches: Drugs and Inebriation, and much more. In this respect, we optimisticslly view it as Part One, and hope for at least a Part Two to come.

The film presents contrasting views on Jünger from Germanistic professors and other experts. The fairest and most informed contributions come - quite logically - from the two real experts, his recent biographers Heimo Schwilk and Helmuth Kiesel. Some of the other "experts" voice the usual cliched complaints but then almost visibly reluctantly admit his literary greatness. Naturally, it is a simplification of a highly complex person, but perhaps more should not be expected in one hour, given the length and eventfulness of Jünger's life and the complexity of his thought.

October 16, 2019

Ernst Jünger: Gespräche im Weltstaat - Podcast mit Jörg Magenau

Review of Jünger's WWII diaries in English translation - by Michael Lewis

A Dandy Goes to War

Review of 'A German Officer in Occupied Paris' By Ernst Jünger

Nazi Germany produced two wartime diaries of equal literary and historical significance but written from the most different perspectives conceivable. Victor Klemperer wrote furtively, in daily dread of transport to an extermination camp, a fate he was spared by the firebombing of Dresden. Ernst Jünger, by contrast, had what was once called a “good war.” As a bestselling German author, he drew cushy occupation duty in Paris, where he could hobnob with famous artists and writers, prowl antiquarian bookstores, and forage for the rare beetles he collected. Yet Klemperer and Jünger both found themselves anxiously sifting propaganda and hearsay to learn the truth about distant events on which their lives hung.
One might ask why it has taken 70 years for Jünger’s diary to appear in English translation, for there is no more detailed account of the occupation from the German point of view. But Jünger was always controversial, up to his death in 1998 at the age of 102. In Germany, polite opinion has never forgiven him for Storm of Steel, his memoir of World War I that saw in the experience of combat an ultimate test of manhood. “The finest, most visceral account of battle since the Iliad,” according to the New Statesman, his book made him a hero among German nationalists and ensured his privileged status in Nazi Germany. As it happens, Jünger was anything but a Nazi.

Storms of Steel - audio review of 2003 Hofmann translation

A quick and simple yet insightful introduction to Michael Hofmann's 2003 English translation of Storms of Steel, for anyone who hasn't read it. The reviewer also hadn't read anything of Jünger's prior to this review, so he has a pleasantly unbiased and uncomplicated perspective.

May 30, 2019

Review of EUMESWIL - with comparisons to FOREST PASSAGE

Eumeswil (by Ernst Jünger)

Ernst Jünger’s Eumeswil, one of the famous German’s last works, published when he was eighty-two years old, is often regarded as an exposition of libertarian thought. This is understandable, but completely wrong. Such a reading attempts to shoehorn concepts in which Jünger had little interest, or toward which he was actively hostile, into an exploration of unrelated themes. Moreover, it ignores that in this book, though somewhat masked, Jünger has more contempt for so-called liberal democracy than dislike for what some call tyranny. Thus, this book is not a call to rework society, or individual thought, along libertarian lines. It is instead a call for human excellence, and a criticism of the modern West for failure to achieve it, or to even try.

One cannot really understand Eumeswil without reading, preferably first reading, Jünger’s earlier The Forest Passage, which was published in 1951, twenty-six years before Eumeswil. On the surface, they are very different—this book is cast as dystopian science fiction, and The Forest Passage is a work of philosophical exposition. But Jünger himself explicitly ties the two books together, linking the earlier book’s concept of the “forest rebel” with this book’s concept of the “anarch.” In both books, the author’s focus on freedom, specific to each individual, is easily misinterpreted, because what freedom means to most people today is not what Jünger means by the term. Jünger means an internal, spiritual freedom, an elitist freedom, not the freedom of license and consequent ennui. This confusion drives all the misunderstandings of Eumeswil.

May 29, 2019

Review of THE FOREST PASSAGE by Ernst Juenger

The Forest Passage (by Ernst Jünger)

Ernst Jünger was one of the more fascinating men of the twentieth century. Remembered in the English-speaking world primarily for his World War I memoir, The Storm of Steel, he was famous in Europe for a range of right-leaning thought spanning nearly eighty years (he lived from 1896 to 1998). His output was prodigious, more than fifty books along with voluminous correspondence, and not meant or useful as a seamless ideology, although certain themes apparently recur. This book, The Forest Passage, was published in 1951, and is a compelling examination of how life should be conducted under modern ideological tyranny.

Jünger’s answer is jarring, both in its originality, and in its flat rejection of any relevancy of those modern (though failing) totems, liberal democracy and egalitarianism. Jünger was no Nazi; he contemptuously rejected their efforts to profit off his reputation, and was tangentially involved in the Stauffenberg plot. But he had just as little use for modern democracy or liberalism; much of his thought seems to have revolved around a type of social and political elitism with a spiritual core. It appears that The Forest Passage was his first exploration of the specific topic of resistance to tyranny; he developed the thought in this book further with a novel published in 1977, Eumeswil, which I have not read.