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Book Title: On Pain|
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The author of the book: Ernst Jünger
Date of issue: November 6th 2008
ISBN 13: 9780914386407
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 811 KB
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Written and published in 1934, a year after Hitler's rise to power in Germany, Ernst Jünger's On Pain is an astonishing essay that announces the rise of a new metaphysics of pain in a totalitarian age. One of the most controversial authors of twentieth-century Germany, Jünger rejects the liberal values of liberty, security, ease, and comfort, and seeks instead the measure of man in the capacity to withstand pain and sacrifice. Jünger heralds the rise of a breed of men who--equipped with an unmatched ability to treat themselves and others in a cold and detached way--become one with new, terrorizing machines of death and destruction in human-guided torpedoes and manned airborne missiles, and whose "peculiarly cruel way of seeing," resembling the insensitive lens of a camera, anticipates the horrors of World War II. With a preface by Russell A. Berman and an introduction by translator David C. Durst, this remarkable essay not only provides valuable insights into the cult of courage and death in Nazi Germany, but also throws light on the ideology of terrorism today.<
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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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