ernst jünger in cyberspace

mailing list archive - Re: Juenger, Glaeserne Bienen and Micro Air Vehicles (MAV) [long]

Gray Kochhar Lindgren wrote:
> 
> Glass Bees has been translated into English, in 1960, by Louise Bogan and
> Elizabeth Mayer. I recently completed an essay on the novel--"Automation,
> Ethics, and the Ear"--which is currently under consideration by ajournal
> at, of all places, GA Tech. Thanks for the notes on the conference!
> cheers,
> Gray
> 
> Gray Kochhar-Lindgren, Ph.D.
> Intellectual Heritage
> Temple University
> Philadelphia, PA 19122

I would be interested in reading your essay. Interestingly enough the
Association Eumeswil used this book as its group reading text for 1996.
The aspect of micro-technology is of course fascinating and excellent
food for thought but what fascinated me more about Zapparoni was his
film-making. When one sees the latest uses of computer animation/image
synthesis in movies, from Toy Story, 101 Dalmations, Charlie and the
Giant Peach etc, one can't help but wonder if Junger's 1950's vision saw
these rapidly evolving virtual images as Zapparoni's perfect mechanical
actors: 

	"Prognoses which have been made contend that our technology will
terminate in pure necromancy. If so, everything we now experience would
be only a departure and mechanics would become refined to a degree that
would no longer require any crude embodiment. Lights, words, yes even
thoughts, would be sufficient. Clearly, the Zapparoni films had very
nearly realized such a future... The dreams of old utopians were
coarse-grained in comparison. With the freedom and elegance of dancers,
the automatons had opened up a world of their own. Here a principle
operative in dreams - namely that matter thinks - seemed to be
realized." Glass Bees, pages 28-29.

	One notices also, in congruity with our reality, that :

	"Naturally these movies had a strong attraction. Children in
particular, were held spellbound. Zapparoni had dethroned the old stock
figures of the fairy tales. Like one of the story-tellers who sits down
on a carpet in an Arabian coffeehouse and transforms the room, he spun
out his fables.... Parents complained that their children were too
preoccupied with him. They could not fall asleep, were overexcited, had
nightmares....The children lived in his world...." pages 29-30.

	Perhaps this is Zapparoni's most far-reaching and power - he is
creating a new mythology for the coming generations and, as myth maker,
he is gives form to a new world. Ecco, the power of virtual reality.
(George Lucas as Creator? I jest and yet the concept is
thought-provoking, isn't it?) 

	(And if I may remark quite frankly, why is it that we spend so much
time talking about peripheral issues and so little time discussing and
exchanging views on the actual words and ideas of the author? Is this
not in some way a function of this "hot" topic, political correctness?)

	Comments? - on Junger's works that is ...!

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