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Evola and Jünger: convergence of thought

Monday, 20 Apr 2015

Julius Evola on Dr John Dunn. First posted Wednesday, 14 May 2014 at 21:01

Julius Evola

It is interesting to note that in his critique of Ernst Jünger’s book, The Gordian Knot (Der gordische Knoten, Frankfurt a.M., 1953), Julius Evola is dismissive of the direction of thought taken by Jünger after the Second World War, or ‘the late break-down’ as he described it.

Evola much preferred
Jünger’s heroic first phase of writing.

The merit of Jünger in that first phase of his thought is that he had recognized the fatal error of those who think that everything may be brought back to order, that this new menacing world, ever advancing, maybe subdued or held on the basis of the vision of life of the values of the preceding age, that is to say of bourgeois civilization.

If a spiritual catastrophe is to be averted modern man must make himself capable of developing his own being in a higher dimension – and it is in this connexion that Jünger had announced the above-mentioned watchword of “heroic realism” and pointed out the ideal of the “absolute person,” capable of measuring himself with elementary forces, capable of seizing the highest meaning of existence in the most destructive experiences, in those actions wherein the human individual no longer counts

Ernst Jünger

Nevertheless, in Evola’s praise of Jünger’s first phase are to be found elements that bring to mind the later phase of Eumeswil and the anarch. Indeed, this ‘absolute person... capable of seizing the highest meaning of existence in the most destructive experiences’ brings to mind not only the anarch of Eumeswil, but also Evola’s ‘differentiated’ type of man and the principle of ‘apoliteia’ from Ride the Tiger.

From Evola:

After taking stock of the situation, this type can only feel disinterested and detached from everything that is ‘politics’ today. His principle will become apoliteia, as it was in ancient times.

‘Apoliteia’ refers essentially to the inner attitude… The man in question recognises, as I have said before, that ideas, motives, and goals worthy of the pledge of one’s true being do not exist today….”

And from Jünger:
Asa historian, I am convinced of the imperfection – nay, the vanity – of any effort. I admit that the surfeit of a late era is involved here. The catalogue of possibilities seems exhausted. The great ideas have been eroded by repetition; you won’t catch any fish with that bait.
It seems that Evola’s and Jünger’s work came together in many ways towards the end of their writing careers.

John Dunn.

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