Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Alt-right hero Julius Evola was essentially suicidal, at least until 1945

From the translator's introduction by Guido Stucco to Evola's The Yoga of Power here:

The first few years of Evola's life following the end of [WWI] were characterized by spiritual restlessness and by an intense search for an ideological self-identity. Evola began a personal quest for ultimate transcendence, which he believed could be found beyond the ethical and spiritual limitations of bourgeois prejudices. ... At this time his quest led him also to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs. His longing for the Absolute, for radically intense feelings, for what the Germans call mehr als leben, ("more than living") which was frustrated by the contingency of human experience, almost induced him, at the age of twenty-three, to commit suicide. ...

He did not hesitate to espouse an epistemological solipsism (though he rejected the term as "inadequate") whereby the individual stands alone in a world of maya, in which nature, things, and people are nothing but an illusion. ...

In 1945 he was in Vienna when, as a result of a Soviet air raid on the city, he was wounded in the spinal cord by a shell fragment. He later told a friend that instead of taking to an underground refuge, he had been purposefully walking the deserted streets of the Austrian capital. After spending a year and a half in a local hospital, Evola returned to Italy, destined to spend the rest of his life, a long twenty-nine years, in a wheelchair.

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