War as Inner Experience: Part One
by Ernst Jünger
This is a new translation of Ernst Jünger’s profound treatise War as Inner Experience, which will be published here in installments.
War as Inner Experience (original: Der Kampf als inneres Erlebnis) was first published in 1922, emerging as a response to the troubling aftermath of World War One. This work, steeped in Jünger’s own experiences, explores the metamorphosis of the human spirit under the relentless hammer of war. Jünger examines how the fiery crucible of battle reshapes the very essence of man, forging from the chaos a new, hardened spirit. The narrative, a fusion of personal reflection and philosophical musing, captures the raw intensity of combat, while also contemplating the broader existential implications of such strife. In essence, this text stands not only as a chronicle of Jünger’s own journey through the harrowing landscapes of war but also as a mirror reflecting the collective psyche of a generation indelibly marked by the horrors and revelations of conflict.
Sometimes a new star shines on the horizons of the mind, striking the eyes of all those restless ones, heralding and signaling a storm of a world change, as once to the kings from the Orient. Then, the surrounding stars drown in a fiery glow; idols shatter into earthen shards, and once again all imprinted form melts in a thousand furnaces to be cast into new values.
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