by Ernst Jünger, Louise Bogan (Translator), Elizabeth Mayer (Translator), Bruce Sterling (Introduction)
In The Glass Bees the celebrated German writer Ernst Jünger presents a disconcerting vision of the future. Zapparoni, a brilliant businessman, has turned his advanced understanding of technology and his strategic command of the information and entertainment industries into a discrete form of global domination. But Zapparoni is worried that the scientists he depends on might sell his secrets. He needs a chief of security, and Richard, a veteran and war hero, is ready for the job. However, when he arrives at the beautiful country compound that is Zapparoni's headquarters, he finds himself subjected to an unexpected ordeal. Soon he is led to question his past, his character, and even his senses.... (taken from Good Reads)
The Glass Bees (German: Gläserne Bienen) is a 1957 science fiction novel written by German author Ernst Jünger. The novel follows two days in the life of Captain Richard, an unemployed ex-cavalryman who feels lost in a world that has become more technologically advanced and impersonal. Richard accepts a job interview at Zapparoni Works, a company that designs and manufactures robots including the titular glass bees. Richard's first-person narrative blends depiction of his unusual job interview, autobiographical flashbacks from his childhood and his days as a soldier, and reflection on the themes of technology, war, historical change, and morality.
In recent years, Jünger's prognostications on the future of technology, variously interpreted as technophobic allegory or insightful critique into the altered relationship between technology, nature, and the human, have received some attention. American science fiction writer Bruce Sterling composed an introduction for the New York Review Books edition in 2000, saying that "its speculations on technology and industry are so prescient as to be uncanny." (taken from Wikipedia)
Ernst Jünger was a decorated German soldier and author who became famous for his World War I memoir Storm of Steel. The son of a successful businessman and chemist, Jünger rebelled against an affluent upbringing and sought adventure in the Wandervogel, before running away to briefly serve in the French Foreign Legion, an illegal act. Because he escaped prosecution in Germany due to his father's efforts, Junger was able to enlist on the outbreak of war. A fearless leader who admired bravery above all else, he enthusiastically participated in actions in which his units were sometimes virtually annihilated. During an ill-fated German offensive in 1918 Junger's WW1 career ended with the last and most serious of his many woundings, and he was awarded the Pour le Mérite, a rare decoration for one of his rank.
Junger served in World War II as captain in the German Army. Assigned to an administrative position in Paris, he socialized with prominent artists of the day such as Picasso and Jean Cocteau. His early time in France is described in his diary Gärten und Straßen (1942, Gardens and Streets). He was also in charge of executing younger German soldiers who had deserted. In his book Un Allemand à Paris , the writer Gerhard Heller states that he had been interested in learning how a person reacts to death under such circumstances and had a morbid fascination for the subject.
Jünger appears on the fringes of the Stauffenberg bomb plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler (July 20, 1944). He was clearly an inspiration to anti-Nazi conservatives in the German Army, and while in Paris he was close to the old, mostly Prussian, officers who carried out the assassination attempt against Hitler. He was only peripherally involved in the events however, and in the aftermath suffered only dismissal from the army in the summer of 1944, rather than execution.
In the aftermath of WW2 he was treated with some suspicion as a closet Nazi. By the latter stages of the Cold War his unorthodox writings about the impact of materialism in modern society were widely seen as conservative rather than radical nationalist, and his philosophical works came to be highly regarded in mainstream German circles. Junger ended his extremely long life as a honoured establishment figure, although critics continued to charge him with the glorification of war as a transcending experience. (taken from Good Reads)