Friday, May 19, 2017

On Ernst Junger and Yukio Mishima (Better than Food Book Reviews)

I recently discoverd a great YouTube channel called Better than Food: Book Reviews. The host (Clifford Lee Sargent) and I apparently have nearly identical tastes in literature - and so alot of the reviews are of books that I enjoy quite abit. He also had his first podcast with Greg Sadler (also quite famous from YouTube); Greg was a pleasure to speak with when I consulted him about possibly transitioning After Nature from blog to vlog.

Astonishingly, Clifford is also one of the few folks out there who appreciates in the German philosopher and literary figure, Ernst Juenger, what I do.  Namely, he does not so much look at Juenger as a mere conservative political figure as much as he does see him as a philosopher whose mode of operation is literature (perhaps like Bataille, another philosopher whom we both enjoy) and whose ideas are neither right nor left per se.  One may wish to consult Juenger's figure of the "anarch" in his science fiction masterpiece Eumeswil (1977) or even his political critique found in On the Marble Cliffs (1939) to see how this is the case.

Just a note that Juenger's philosophical observations were well, well ahead of his time, especially concerning his predictions about scientific technology, which is what makes him so important for NrX or "right accelerationism" (he predicted the iPhone, which he called the "phonophore," the internet which he called the "datasphere," and so on). I am going to post below a link to a documentary about Juenger where this is discussed in the second half. It is really worth watching and is actually the best documentary about Juenger that I have come across so far.  I should mention that in the documentary according to Juenger we will move from the age of the Titans to the gods by the 2200's - which for him means a union of humans and machine, accelerating intelligence, singularity, and encounter with extra-human forms of intelligence. Very interesting to hear.

Clifford also reviewed Yukio Mishima's Sun and Steel (1968) - which was great - as recently I've been obsessed with Mishima, and so I'll include some videos embedded below about him as well.