20070328

Sturm

Ernst Jünger - Sturm

3/5

Ernst Jünger's Sturm is a peculiar little novel (82 pages). A semi-autobiographical story of a cultured, well-read German officer in 1916, spending his time either coolly killing his enemies or discussing the finer points of literature (mostly French and Russian - supposedly the enemy, natch) with his friends and writing on a "Decamerone of the trenches", little character sketches of other young men who DON'T go to war, trying to come to terms with the brutality of an ending era (the 19th century, some would say, ended with the big offensives of 1916, machine guns and bombs once and for all taking over as the defining aspect of technology... It's certainly not an optimistic book, and not a very nice book either. Plus, its short length actually makes it a bit difficult to get into - it's so stripped down, it's hard to get into the flow of it. But Jünger was a good writer (and a fascinating character - fought in both world wars, was part of von Stauffenberg's assassination attempt on Hitler, took LSD in his 70s, lived to 103...). 3/5.

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