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På Marmorklipperne, Det eventyrlige hjerte – Book covers, Gyldendal

Book covers for the newly translated Danish editions of Ernst Jünger’s På marmorklipperne (On The Marble Cliffs) and Det eventyrlige hjerte (The Adventurous Heart).

På marmorklipperne (1939) begins as a slow, poetic account of two brothers’ lives on The Marble Cliffs. They are surrounded by plants and animals, and spend their days working on a tome on the vegetation of the area. The book ends as a dark tale of violence, intimidation and death.

This juxtaposition of beauty and horror is illustrated with a skull-like face – death, horror – consisting of cut-outs from botanical illustrations – life, serenity. The plants also refer directly to the brothers’ botanical work.

Det eventyrlige hjerte (1929) is a volume of 71 short prose pieces — accounts of dreams, observations of natural phenomena, biographical vignettes, and essayistic pieces on culture and society. It’s an amorphous cluster of texts, the contents of which are very hard, if not impossible, to summarise. Which poses an obvious problem: How does one make a cover for a book that can’t be summarised?

We’ve smashed a figurine and arranged the fragments so that they form a circle. The shards refer to the fragmented nature of the book, and the circle of shards a strange order / chaos dichotomy. As with På Marmorklipperne, one motive is constructed of something else. What does it all mean? We can’t say. But hopefully it’s as intriguing and mysterious as the contents of the book.

Published by Gyldendal late 2014 and early 2015. Edited by Stinne Lender and Janne Breinholt Bak. På marmorklipperne is translated by Adam Paulsen. Det eventyrlige hjerte is translated by René Jean Jensen.

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