Read Eumeswil by Ernst Jünger Free Online
Book Title: Eumeswil|
The author of the book: Ernst Jünger
Edition: Marsilio Publishers
Date of issue: May 1st 1994
ISBN 13: 9780941419970
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 36.71 MB
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Reader ratings: 4.6
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Originally published in Germany in 1977, when Junger was eighty-two years old, Eumeswil is the great novel of Junger's creative maturity, a masterpiece by a central figure in modern German literature. Eumeswil is a utopian state ruled by the Condor, a general who has installed himself as a dictator and who dominates the capital from a guarded citadel atop a hill - the Casbah. A refined manipulator of power, the Condor despises the democrats who conspire against him. Venator, the narrator of the novel, is a historian whose discreet and efficient services as the Condor's night steward earn him full access to the forbidden zone, at the very heart of power. Every evening, while attending to the Condor and his guests at the Casbah's night bar, Venator keeps a secret journal in which he records the conversations he overhears, delineating the diverse personalities in the Condor's entourage while sketching out an analysis of the different aspects of the psychology of power. Venator's days are spent building a hidden refuge in the mountains, a hermetic retreat where he hopes one day to realize his dreams of utter self-sufficiency. In the meantime, however, he continues to pursue his career as a historian, using the magnificent tool that has been placed at his disposal - the "luminar", a holographic instrument that can summon up any figure or event in human history. Venator, in a word, embodies Junger's ideal of the "anarch" - a heroic figure whose radical skepticism and individualism are not to be confused with mere anarchism. Around the opposite figures of the dictator and the anarch, Junger weaves a hallucinatory and poetic rumination on the nature of history and on the mainsprings of political power. At once tale, essay and philosophical poem, Eumeswil offers a desolate and lucid assessment of totalitarianism by an author who witnessed its horrors firsthand.
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Read information about the authorErnst Jünger was a decorated German soldier and author who became famous for his World War I memoir Storm of Steel. The son of a successful businessman and chemist, Jünger rebelled against an affluent upbringing and sought adventure in the Wandervogel, before running away to briefly serve in the French Foreign Legion, an illegal act. Because he escaped prosecution in Germany due to his father's efforts, Junger was able to enlist on the outbreak of war. A fearless leader who admired bravery above all else, he enthusiastically participated in actions in which his units were sometimes virtually annihilated. During an ill-fated German offensive in 1918 Junger's WW1 career ended with the last and most serious of his many woundings, and he was awarded the Pour le Mérite, a rare decoration for one of his rank.
Junger served in World War II as captain in the German Army. Assigned to an administrative position in Paris, he socialized with 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 Streets). He was also in charge of executing younger German soldiers who had deserted. In his book Un Allemand à Paris , the writer Gerhard Heller states that he had been interested in learning how a person reacts to death under such circumstances and had a morbid fascination for the subject.
Jünger appears on the fringes of the Stauffenberg bomb plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler (July 20, 1944). He was clearly an inspiration to anti-Nazi conservatives in the German Army, and while in Paris he was close to the old, mostly Prussian, officers who carried out the assassination attempt against Hitler. He was only peripherally involved in the events however, and in the aftermath suffered only dismissal from the army in the summer of 1944, rather than execution.
In the aftermath of WW2 he was treated with some suspicion as a closet Nazi. By the latter stages of the Cold War his unorthodox writings about the impact of materialism in modern society were widely seen as conservative rather than radical nationalist, and his philosophical works came to be highly regarded in mainstream German circles. Junger ended his extremely long life as a honoured establishment figure, although critics continued to charge him with the glorification of war as a transcending experience.
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