Eumeswil

Ernest Junger, Author, Ernst Junger, Author, Joachim Neugroschel, Translator Marsilio Publishers $29.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-941419-97-0
Set sometime in the future, after the world government has splintered into city-states, German novelist Junger's murky and digressive dystopian fantasy features Martin Venator, night steward of the Casbah of Eumeswil, citadel-stronghold of a tyrant known as ``the Condor.'' Venator rationalizes his subservience to the dictator by thinking of himself as an ``anarch,'' a man with no ties to state or society. Unlike the anarchist, dedicated to fighting authority, the anarch ``plays his own game'' within the framework of established rules. When not seeking sexual comfort with his pupil, Ingrid, or with waterfront whore Latifah, Venator uses a time machine to replay historical events and to conjure up 3-D images of famous anarchists. Meanwhile, Ingrid uses the device to research ``the Goldfinch Plan,'' an alternative to Zionist nationalism by which various countries will lease or donate tiny territories that will allow the Jewish people to exist as a seafaring network. Junger (b. 1895) is perhaps best known for opposing the Nazi regime through his bestselling roman a clef, On the Marble Cliffs (1939). In this acute if labyrinthine study of a compromised individual, he telescopes past and present, playing over the sweep of Western history and culture with a dazzling range of allusions from Homer and Nero to Poe and Lenin, displaying his erudition but failing to ignite the reader's engaged interest. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
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