TELOSscope: The Telos Press Blog

Death in the Trenches

“When a man fell, the others stood together over his corpse; their gazes met, dark and deep. But when death stood over the trenches like a storm cloud, then it was every man for himself: he stood alone in the darkness, howling and crashing surrounding him, blinded by sudden flashes, with nothing in his breast but endless desolation.”

—Ernst Jünger, Sturm, describing the soldiers awaiting attack during the Battle of the Somme, whose centenary is this year.

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“An unblinking account of a culture in twilight, this novella recasts central themes of Ernst Jünger’s chronicles of the Great War: the unrelenting test of human perdurance under new technologies of annihilation; the naturalist’s precise aesthetic of life teeming amid martial insanity; and, a new note, the harrowing free fall of civilian life into erotic aimlessness and inebriated despair, for which only art serves for an antidote. In Alexis Walker’s carefully wrought translation, Sturm will be a welcome surprise to Jünger’s veteran readers, and an ideal introduction for those who are curious to know more than his name.”
Thomas Nevin, author of Ernst Jünger and Germany: Into the Abyss, 1914–1945

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