Monday, August 13, 2007


In Stahlgewittern

...I felt a piercing jolt in the chest - as though I had been hit like a gamebird. With a sharp cry that seemed to cost me all the air I had, I spun on my axis and crashed to the ground.

It had got me at last. At the same time as feeling I had been hit, I felt the bullet taking away my life. I had felt Death's hand once before, on the road at Mory - but this time his grip was firmer and more determined. As I came down heavily on the bottom of the trench, I was convinced it was all over. Strangely that moment is one of the very few in my life of which I am able to say they were utterly happy. I understood, as in a flash of lightening, the true inner purpose and form of my life. I felt surprise and disbelief that it was to end there and then, but this surprise had something untroubled and almost merry about it. Then I heard the firing grow less, as if I were a stone sinking under the surface of some turbulent water. Where I was going, there was neither war nor enmity.

- from Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel (trans. Michael Hoffman), pp. 281 - 282.

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