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2006 | 3-4(15) | 157-178
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The Figure of a worker in Stanislaw Brzozowski and Ernst Jünger

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Stanislaw Brzozowski and Ernst Jünger's view on world and life as well as intellectual profile of both authors show surprisingly many related points. That relationship arises because their aesthetic concepts and outlook of life were based on intense reading of Nietzsche and Jena romantics. Central category that brings both intellectuals closer together is the figure of a worker developed by Jünger in 'Arbeiter. Herrschaft und Gestalt' (1932) and incorporated by Brzozowski into his 'work philosophy'. In particular, the essential foundation of Brzozowski's work philosophy and of Jünger's notion of worker was Nietzsche with his idea of the overman and the theory of will to power. The highlighment of the figure of a worker in both writers is connected with ongoing changes at the turn of the twentieth century, namely the technological progress, growing industrialization of social life, and specific historical and political events. In the case of Brzozowski, these events were the social and national revolutions in 'Królestwo Kongresowe' from 1905 until 1907 with workers going on strike. For Jünger it was the experience of the First World War, the collapse of Germany and the creation of Republic of Weimar. In their notion of work, Brzozowski and Jünger 'modernize' educational ideals of Nietzsche (Bildungsidee) and aesthetic notions of early German Romanticism. At the same time, the notion of work has a broad semantic capacity. It absorbs both Nietzsche's philosophy of creativity and understanding of art as the act of formation of reality, and the early romantic idea of poetry as a synonym for the activity of a human being. It penetrates into all possible forms of life and expresses them.
  • M. Kopij, Uniwersytet Wroclawski Instytut Filologii Germanskiej, pl. Nankiera 15, 50-140 Wroclaw, Poland
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