On the Precipice of Fascism:
The Mythic and the Political in the Works of Robert E. Howard and Ernst Junger
Exerpts from the Foreword
…This dissertation is interested in situating Jünger's work in a diachronic development of historical discourses – but not from an ideology criticism perspective, and certainly not in terms of seeing Jünger as a timeless and disinterested commentator on Modernism and Postmodernism. This dissertation's focus on the ideology of form identified by Jameson is not an attempt to homogenize Jünger's work but to track its formal developments in order to come to a clear interpretation of his position in the historical stream of discourse – one free from a preconceived ideological judgement of Jünger. Further, this dissertation does the opposite of attempting to distil Jünger's texts. By establishing three layers of form of these texts through a close reading that follows the narrative stages of the text, the entirety of a text is considered in order to determine its mythos, its mode/Schreibweise and its genre. Not only is the establishment of these forms significant for an interpretation of Jünger, but the changes in these forms from text to text in a diachronic progression are significant as well. The resultant interpretation does not elevate Jünger's oeuvre to a monument but rather sees it as part of collective discourses and national (and international) meta-narratives within the horizon of history….
…Central concerns in Howard scholarship revolve around a few major themes. There has been a strong accent on biographical criticism linked to psychological approaches, particularly of the Freudian variety. The themes of race and racism in Howard's work are also major components of the field. As this dissertation demonstrates, Howard's texts represent a differentiated approach to these themes from an author living in a culture deeply affected by, and invested in, these themes. A third major concern in Howard studies is a generic one. With the Fantasy genre being a relatively recent literary phenomenon, there are on-going attempts to define it and map its conventions and sub-genres. The intersection of the variety of popular genres that Howard wrote in, within the pulp paradigm he worked in, and his association, through the term Weird Fiction, with his two major contemporaries and correspondents, Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, is a rich source of generic investigation...
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Table of Contents
[T]his dissertation is unquestionably an original and masterful — sometimes too masterful — scholarly accomplishment, which develops its thesis methodically, richly and productively.
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kurz, author of Metapher. Allegorie. Symbol and Das große Schauspiel.
Deutschland und die französische Revolution.