Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Review: The Glass Bees

I don't know what to think about this. I didn't really know anything about Junger before picking this up. He was a veteran (for Germany) of the First World War, and was an opponent of Hitler...from the right! The protagonist (Richard), of the novel seems to be a vehicle for Junger to express his own dissatisfaction with modernity, a dissatisfaction that is almost comically conservative (or would be if it wasn't so terribly frightening). He constantly bemoans the death of traditional, noble warfare on horseback. His desperate longing for the cavalry borders on the homoerotic. Reminiscent of nazi journals talking about how they long to "take the bit of authority in their mouths".

Basically everything in this book is absolutely fucking terrifying, and not in the way it was intended. The Glass Bees reads like a sort of parody of Ayn Rand individualism. Discussing his admiration for a compatriots suicide, Richard says, "...In one single moment he was able to illustrate and accomplish something which most of our circle took a lifetime to do. If a person of strength and good will who draws his nourishment from the past isn't able to find firm ground under his feet in the present, he is doomed to impotence. If he strives for the impossible, he must destroy himself"...I think I'm going to vomit.

Do like to jerk off while reading the Fountainhead, and feel that your noble individualism is being constantly crushed by society's mechanization? This creepy book is just what the doctor ordered.

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