The last second, or eternity
Ernst Jünger looking at photographs of the First World War
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the famous German writer Ernst Jünger contributed to the publication of a couple of photography books. These collections of photographic images and essays, written by various authors, dealt with themes including war, sacrifice, death, violence, heroism and Luchtfahrt. In this chapter, we will analyze, amongst other texts by Jünger, his contribution to the volume Das Antlitz des Weltkrieges from 1930 entitled, Krieg und Lichtbild and his introduction to the book Krieg und Krieger.We will gauge the relationship between Jünger's philosophy of danger on the one hand and his philosophy of violence on the other, ultimately underscoring his suggestion that the moment of danger can endow the confrontation with violence with a specific type of meaning. In other words: the central argument of our contribution is that Jünger, who is often overlooked in philosophy, has an important point to make concerning the relation between meaning and violence. Inserting Jünger's concepts of nihilism and his view of photography into the discussion, our chapter will build on an analysis of both texts and images. Together, these texts and images will provide a further insight into Jünger's suggestion that violence can have redemptive qualities.
Symons, S. , Castelein, T. (2019)., The last second, or eternity: Ernst Jünger looking at photographs of the First World War, in L. Lauwaert, L. K. Smith & C. Sternad (eds.), Violence and meaning, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 167-188.
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