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The Pilgrim between two worlds – Walter Flex

The Pilgrim between two worlds – Walter Flex

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On a stormy night on the Lorraine front in 1914, a student, a war volunteer, scribbled the first verses of what would become one of the most famous songs in Europe: “The wild geese…” (which became known through the vicissitudes of the story anthem of fire 1st REP). It is also the beginning of one of the most popular German works of the First World War. In the soldiers' knapsack, this war diary rubs shoulders with Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Löns. This is because The Pilgrim Between Two Worlds is a passionate hymn to the spirit of the Wandervögel (Migratory Birds), a youth movement which associates a return to nature and wisdom... May war, since it has imposed itself, serve as a revealing to this art of living, announcement of a new community which must emerge in the future. The almost mystical appeals to the sun and the spirit of the forests, the tenderness and poetry which bathe Walter Flex's story, the evocations of a virile Christianity and a compassionate paganism, the absence of hatred for the adversary , the cry of the wild geese become so many echoes of the deep aspirations of the people. Against the gravity and lies of an individualistic and mercantile society, the Wandervogel spirit develops a pedagogy of liberation and respect (“Remain pure and become mature”).

In this reissue, the presentation and translation by Phillipe Marcq soberly restore the luminous poetry of the original text. The introduction by Robert Steuckers, for its part, perfectly evokes the work and the spiritual context of an author unknown in France and forgotten in Germany. We give it here to read.

13.5x19cm; 140 pages

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