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Ernst Junger. – Photo credits: wikicommun

FIGAROVOX/READING – Luc-Olivier d'Algange published, Deciphering the World: The Poetic Gnosis of Ernst Jünger, published by Hamattan. Rémi Soulié invites us to discover this meditation on Time, gods, dreams and symbols.

Rémi Soulié, writer, essayist, literary critic, contributor to Figaro Magazine, is, among other things, the author of Nietzsche or Dionysian wisdom, To greet Pierre Boutang, From the walk: treaty, Le Vieux Rouergue.

Poets are singular alchemists who tend less to transform base metals into gold than to show (in the sense of monstration) the beauty of being behind the more or less shapeless jumble of the times. Such is the vocation of Luc-Olivier d'Algange, which he illustrates in his poems, his essays — which are also poems — and in his life — which is also one as we know it to be contemplative, attuned to works, to hours and seasons.

Ernst Jünger, whose twentieth anniversary of his death will be celebrated in 2018, has long been counted among his intercessors, his companions in dreams and exactitudes, who are separated only by obtuse minds, enemies of nuance and clouds – the word is the same –, in short, modern minds oscillating between fanaticism and relativism, obverse and reverse of the nihilistic pendant, the pendant also designating the outgrowth of skin that goats wear on the front of the neck.

Luc-Olivier d'Algange, Deciphering the World: The Poetic Gnosis of Ernst Jünger, L'Harmattan, coll. Theoria, 168 p., €18.
Luc-Olivier d'Algange, Deciphering the World: The Poetic Gnosis of Ernst Jünger, L'Harmattan, coll. Theoria, 168 p., €18. – Photo credits: L’HARMATTAN

As there is only an initiatory journey and a cherubic pilgrimage, Deciphering the world – whose alphabet, by definition, is the invention of Novalis, between Saïs and Bohemia -, published in the superb Théôria collection, directed by Pierre-Marie Sigaud at Éditions L'Harmattan, is a map on which to read the geography of a mind, a heart and a soul, not in the academic, scientific and technical mode, but in the musical way, which suits the Orphic muses, the very ones whom Philosophy, alas, dismisses at the beginning of the consolation of philosophy of Boethius but which Metaphysics, in the work of d'Algange, nimbly reintroduces. Nor should we expect a political reading or, a fortiori, ideology of Jünger's work: make way for a high-intensity reading, a discourse on method, an infinite hermeneutics like the finite world!

The "cosmic vessel" in which we are embarked and of which we are in fact conveys the galaxies as well as the tiger beetles, both of which correspond analogically with each other by virtue of the law of gradations themselves infinite and of a gnosis heraldry where the visible is the imprint of the invisible. We have reached such a point of involution that very few, it is to be feared, will recognize their country there.

This book, like all those of Luc-Olivier d'Algange, is therefore written for the “happy few” from Stendhal or those who form the pleiads of “king's sons” dear to Gobineau.

This book, like all those of Luc-Olivier d'Algange, is therefore written for Stendhal's "happy few" or those who form the constellation of "king's sons" dear to Gobineau — very fortunately, their privileges are transmitted to whoever ( Gionian deserters, rebels and Jüngerian anarchs…) escapes the titanic and despotic reign of quantity. In his Visit to Godenholm, quoted by d'Algange, Jünger evokes moreover these "small groups" which, in the deserts, the convents and the hermitages, gather irregulars, stoics and gnostics, around philosophers, prophets and initiates keeping "a conscience, a sapience superior to coercion and history.”

In ten chapters — "Ernst Jünger decipherer and memoirist", "The cloud, the flame, the wave", "The hermeneutic art", "The stereoscopic gaze", "The eye of the storm: Jünger and Evola", "The dream of Hyperion: Jünger and Hölderlin", "From philosophy to gnosis", "The science of edges and thresholds", "The Hermitage with white bushes", "Beyond the line" — d'Algange pulverizes the fallacious distinction that opposes a first nationalist, bellicose and esthete Jünger to a second, solitary and meditative contemplator. He shows – there again, in the sense of monstration, against the heavy and ungraceful demonstrations – that Jünger lived a single and unique spiritual experience in which contemplation is action, and vice versa, which escapes the moderns entangled in the devilry of the splits between the subject and the object, the one and the multiple, immanence and transcendence, time and eternity, being and becoming, God and the gods, etc. This is also why d'Algange has only ever written one book - but it is a masterpiece: the poetic and metaphysical art of symbols. “The eternal becoming of the truth of being, he writes, arises under the finery of the timeless, at the point of the moment, on the variegation of the gnat's wing, in the iridescence of the drop of dew that the first sun abolishes, shade within shade.”

Ernst Jünger inherits German romanticism and of course prolongs this “secret Germany” of which Stefan George was the inspired herald.

Le adventurous heart, contrary to bourgeois assurances, puritanical and utilitarian morality, pathos humanitarian and psychological, has slipped into the regions of the sensitive and intelligible world armed with "panoramic reason" which, unlike binary or dialectical logics, thus embraces the totality and makes the coincidentia oppositorum that no analysis breaks down. The intuitively perceived synthesis of the All shines there with its angels, its butterflies, its battlefields, its dreams, its myths, its legends, its hills and its shores, its forms, these types and its figures including those of the Soldier, the Worker , the Rebel and the Anarch. Everything there is subtle like a hunt, like a thought that is a weighing, "the etymology being, with the natural sciences, the heraldic art par excellence." From this point of view, Jünger inherits German Romanticism and of course prolongs this “secret Germany” of which Stefan George was the inspired herald.

In this luminous miniature that is Deciphering the world, the perspective underlines the dimensions of height and depth where Jünger moves naturally and supernaturally. The approach is qualitative and courteous, as in a hermitage dug into the marble cliffs where it would still be possible to read and botanize — which comes to the same thing — far from the forest hordes. This is how Ernst Jünger and Luc-Olivier d'Algange introduce us to "the beautiful life". Magnificent, yes, the word imposes itself.




Source: ©  Ernst Jünger and the Magnificent Life

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