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The Glass Bees

The Glass Bees

by Ernst Jünger, introduction by Bruce Sterling, translated from the German by Elizabeth Mayer and Louise Bogan

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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…. Ernst Junger, introduction by Bruce Sterling, translated from the German by Elizabeth Mayer and Louise Bogan

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9780940322554
Pages: 224
Publication Date:


This pitch-black ending [of The Glass Bees] shows that Jünger offers more to the modern reader than perverse echoes of German history. The Glass Bees captures with uncommon precision the psychology of acquiescence and abjection on which the sickening miracles of technology depend. The Venus flytraps of social media are a case in point; so is the heedless embrace of artificial intelligence....In the end, the technical almost inevitably wins out over the human.
—Alex Ross, The New Yorker

In scenes as harrowing and thought-disturbing as any created by Karel Capek, George Orwell or Aldous Huxley, [Jünger] contributes not only to prophetic and nihilistic literature but also to an understanding of the inner and outer forces that shape many a man's attitude toward tyranny.
The New York Times

Jünger's language shimmers with icily brilliant cynicism. He masters a style as hard and transparent as the insects of the story's title.
The San Francisco Chronicle

A fantastic, tightly compressed novel...a wonderfully provocative fusion of fiction and philosophy.
The Atlantic

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