cascadian contra mundum
The 1938 version of Ernst Jünger’s The Adventurous Heart: Figures and Capriccios must be considered a key text in the famous German writer’s sprawling oeuvre. In this volume, which bears comparison to the Denkbilder of the Frankfurt School, Jünger assembles sixty-three short, often surrealistic prose pieces—accounts of dreams, nature observations, biographical vignettes, and critical reflections on culture and society—providing, as he puts it, “small models of another way of seeing things.” Here Jünger experiments with a new method of observation and thinking, uniting lucid and precise observation with the unconstrained receptivity of dreams. He calls this method stereoscopy, a form of perception by which our commonplace understanding is extended to include a simultaneous awareness of additional dimensions of sense or value in the object observed. But equally important to Jünger is an intuitive receptivity that comprehends matters directly at the midpoint of the matter, making laborious determinations of the periphery superfluous—intuition is a master key that opens all, and not just the individual doors of a house. With these methods, Jünger attempts to penetrate to the hidden harmony of things that lies behind the dualities of surface and depth, image and essence. This superb translation offers Anglophone readers a fresh look at one of twentieth-century Germany’s most extraordinary writers.

The 1938 version of Ernst Jünger’s The Adventurous Heart: Figures and Capriccios must be considered a key text in the famous German writer’s sprawling oeuvre. In this volume, which bears comparison to the Denkbilder of the Frankfurt School, Jünger assembles sixty-three short, often surrealistic prose pieces—accounts of dreams, nature observations, biographical vignettes, and critical reflections on culture and society—providing, as he puts it, “small models of another way of seeing things.” Here Jünger experiments with a new method of observation and thinking, uniting lucid and precise observation with the unconstrained receptivity of dreams. He calls this method stereoscopy, a form of perception by which our commonplace understanding is extended to include a simultaneous awareness of additional dimensions of sense or value in the object observed. But equally important to Jünger is an intuitive receptivity that comprehends matters directly at the midpoint of the matter, making laborious determinations of the periphery superfluous—intuition is a master key that opens all, and not just the individual doors of a house. With these methods, Jünger attempts to penetrate to the hidden harmony of things that lies behind the dualities of surface and depth, image and essence. This superb translation offers Anglophone readers a fresh look at one of twentieth-century Germany’s most extraordinary writers.