Archive for September, 2009

Jünger on Heidegger: “If only he hadn’t done those stupid things – for which, however, I don’t reproach him…”

Hervier: À propos of traveling, you talk about Heidegger, who was more of a homebody. You know that he was once invited to give a lecture in Rome, where he was supposed to spend a week. But the lecture was such a big hit that he was asked to give a second one, and he spent his entire stay indoors, preparing the lecture.

Jünger: Yes: in Seventy Wines, I quote a letter that Heidegger wrote me, saying that he is like an old Chinese, he prefers staying at home. My brother Freidrich Georg was closer to Heidegger than I, and he always had anecdotes about him. One day, Heidegger was stung in the back of the neck by a bee, and my brother told him that that was excellent for rheumatism. Heidegger didn’t know what to answer. I have a whole pack of letters he sent me, and he also presented me with two unpublished essays in a very beautiful penmanship. He gave seminars on The Worker and Total Mobilization. If only he hadn’t done those stupid things – for which, however, I don’t reproach him; it is not the job of the philosopher to have clear political thinking. Besides, the situation was not such that one could say: “I want to preserve things as they are.” He thought something new was coming, but he was dreadfully mistaken. He did not have as clear a vision as I did.

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from The Details of Time: Conversations with Ernst Jünger, trans. Joachim Neugroschel (NY: Marsilo Publishers, 1986/1995), p 55.