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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"

464                  MODERN   GERMAN   LITERATURE

Junger now acknowledges the validity of religious faith; faith is
a help in the pessimism that is inevitable in the face of perpetual
evil, but the great comfort is that evil and catastrophe cannot quell
the spirit of man: "die Statute der Vmucbtmg ist die Stunde desLeknf.
Ernst Jlinger served as an officer from start to finish of World
War IIj and part of his experience of it is covered by Garten und
Strassen (1942). Since the hook betrayed sympathy with the suffer-
ings of the French it was banned. It is made up of diary entries
(1939-40) covering the preparations for war and the advance
through France. Here j linger faces up to the facts and fierceness
of war, as he does courageously and clearly in DerFriede (1948),
which circulated secretly in sheets; and here, too, he finds his way
back to Christian concepts of love and charity. Clearly the ultimate
aim of Jiinger's 'heroic realism* is to get the best of the nation
back from leftist extremes of democracy to the pith and marrow
of a nationalist Conservatism. Another volume in diary form is
Strahhwgen (1949); the entries run from 1941 to 1945, and were
written in Paris, Russia, and Germany, The works that follow
World War II are intended to be a gospel of salvation for Ger-
many; at a time when the only cathedrals that remain are 'those
formed by the cupolas of folded hands' the only hope lies in
spiritual regeneration* Junger sets his face against the nihilism of
the masses in "Ober die Link (1950), which upholds the cultural
ferment of Eros and the creative impulses of art and literature.
In Der Waldgang (1950) we have a picture of the homeless indi-
vidual of today, who resolutely crosses the meridian of nihilism
(Nullmmdiari) to reconquer freedom. The threads otAttfden Mar-
morkKppen are taken up again in Heliopolh (1949), an allegorical
novel more or less in the line of Kasack's Die Stadt hinter dem
Strom\ it is clearly influenced by Aldous Huxley's 'Bran New World.
This 'city of the sun' is pictured as spiritually more real than the
cities our earth has known. The action takes place between the
overthrow of the first world empire and the foundation of the
second. Actually the chronicle of our own time is interwoven in
this vision of the future which - by the victory of truth, of freedom,
of love - is bound to come* It is the world of Superman. In the
world of fierce conflict between Landvogt and Proconsul (Hitler
and Hindenburg), between Demos on the one hand and on the
other die Edeltrefflichen ~ a class who through phases of change and
levelling down have kept the qualities of their ancestors - the