10 January 2012

The Devil's Captain: Ernst Jünger in Nazi Paris, 1941-1944

"Author of Nazi Paris, a Choice Academic Book of the Year, Allan Mitchell has researched a companion volume concerning the acclaimed and controversial German author Ernst Jünger who, if not the greatest German writer of the twentieth century, certainly was the most controversial. His service as a military officer during the occupation of Paris, where his principal duty was to mingle with French intellectuals such as Jean Cocteau and with visiting German celebrities like Martin Heidegger, was at the center of disputes concerning his career. Spending more than three years in the French capital, he regularly recorded in a journal revealing impressions of Parisian life and also managed to establish various meaningful social contacts, with the intriguing Sophie Ravoux for one. By focusing on this episode, the most important of Jünger's adult life, the author brings to bear a wide reading of journals and correspondence to reveal Jünger's professional and personal experience in wartime and thereafter. This new perspective on the war years adds significantly to our understanding of France's darkest [sic] hour."

7 comments:

Stockton Andrews II said...

This sounds very good indeed. Thanks for the tip.

v. Braun. said...

Now this sounds interesting, indeed. Great cover-photography, too.

Herr Gehlen said...

Darkest hour?

I don't recall North African/Arab suburb riots in 1942. France is less French now that during the occupation.

atlantis said...

Herr Gehlen, You're absolutely right!

v. Braun. said...

I went to Marseille last year and can say: It's Arabic.

Cyprian Korzeniowski said...

When I went to Paris some years ago, the gypsies running their little street cons were rather odious. I also had an interesting episode with a shady African cab driver.

Normandy, on the other hand, was rather idyllic. The only wretched of the earth I remember encountering there was a Middle Easterner wearing a rough looking, night gown-like covering, ranting and raving to no one in particular. Rather unnerving in an alleyway, but whatever his business was, it didn't involve me.

DEK said...

World War II was Europe's heroic moment. I doubt that they could manage it again. Of course we really don't know about the sentiment and spirit of the people since the ruling classes control what we hear of them.