April 25, 2012

Ernst Jünger's "On the Marble Cliffs" as a parable of staying true to yourself

From Politosophia, a Russian website I stumbled upon, a nice English summary of "On the Marble Cliffs", with an original and excellent take on one important message of the book in its title - how to stay true to yourself. Thank you, Olena!

15 квітня 2012 15:03

Olena Semenyaka
National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
"There are periods of decline when the pattern fades to which our inmost life must conform. When we enter upon them we sway and lose our balance. From hollow joy we sink to leaden sorrow, and past and future acquire a new charm from our sense of loss. So we wander aimlessly in the irretrievable past or in distant Utopias; but the fleeting moment we cannot grasp."
"So I swear to myself in the future to fall alone in freedom rather than to accompany the servants on the path to triumph."
- Ernst Jünger "Auf den Marmorklippen" ("On the Marble Cliffs," 1939)
In the "Afterword" (notes) to his novel written in 1972 Ernst Jünger remarked that the book was noticed far beyond Germany and was re-published in Riga and Paris at Army's expense (the German publishers, naturally, had problems with Goebbels' censorship). He also mentioned rumors about pirate editions in Ukraine and Latvia, which spread soon after the end of war, although the first official translation beyond the Iron Curtain appeared in 1971 in Bucharest.