Antaios

In 2009 or 2010 I was contacted by a man who wanted to revive the Antaios journal that was edited by Mircea Eliade and Ernst Jünger. There were plans to start with a website, but to eventually come to a printed magazine. The website could be found at new-antaios.net. The magazine had a flying start, but was short-lived.

I was asked to write a short biography of Franz Farwerck. It could be found on the website, was copied by another website called Euro Synergies and when it became clear that The New Antaios would fold, I republished it on this very website.

I had been writing about Farwerck for a while back then, but I would do a lot more investigations after. As a biography, the text is now a bit meagre, but I went with the information available to me in the day.

Antaios 1, 2 and 3

Why I never found it eludes me, but recently I was notified about a text of noone less than Koenraad Logghe (who sparked my interest in Farwerck in the first place) about Farwerck in… Antaios! This was in 1997.

But wait, the New Antaios that published my Farwerck bio was a revamp, but the original Antaios ran from 1959 until 1971, so Logghe’s text must have been published in an earlier reincarnation of the periodical.

Above you have a cover of one of the original issues, one of the second version and the website.

Some history

In the Aries journal something has been written about Antaios. I do not have that issue of Aries (#9 2009) but I did find a quote from Hans Thomas Hakl from it (1).

From 1959-1971 Mircea Eliade and Ernst Jünger are known to have been the editors of the German cultural magazine Antaios. But in reality their editorship was purely formal. It was the Swiss journalist and author Philipp Wolff-Windegg, who practically singlehandedly selected the authors and articles and also did most of the clerical work. Eliade and Jünger read the magazine usually only months after its publication and never contributed anything original to it, although it was Jünger, who initially had had the idea. ANTAIOS was financed by the conservative German publisher Ernst Klett in Stuttgart. Apart from literary and generally cultural articles the magazine included a very high number of “esoteric” contributions. Many authors were also speakers at the Eranos conferences. Astounding is also the number of “perennialist” authors ranging from Julius Evola to Frithjof Schuon. But the times in Germany were adverse as neo-marxist ideas were in full sway at the universities. The readership diminished more and more until the publisher decided to discontinue this initiative in 1971.

Antaios 1

The first Antaios is sometimes called Antaios, Zeitschrift für eine freie Welt (‘Journal for a free world’). With Jünger as an editor (at least, on paper as we saw) and the publisher being Ernst Klett Verlag from Stuttgart, you can expect the journal to have been in German. Strangely enough, I can find hardly any information about it in German. There is not even an article on the German Wikipedia. Old copies are well-available second hand and in reprint (!) though, but noone seems to have thought to tell what the issues contain. I did find a table of contents for the complete 1960 year (2). Indeed, all titles are in German. The authors of the 1960 issues include Eliade, Jünger (but see Hakl above), Evola, W.B. Yeats and Jan de Vries.
A fairly long article about the journal in German was published in 2007 Alexander Pschera in Sezession which can be found online (3).

Antaios 2

Most information that I find about the journal is written in French. Apparently the French were more impressed by the journal than others. The reason may be that Eliade himself is sometimes described as a ‘light Traditionalist’ (as he was not as strict as for example René Guénon) and Hakl says the “perennialist” influences were big. I guess Traditionalism left a longer impression in the country in which Guénon was born.

In any case, the second incarnation of Antaios was a Belgian (Walloon) / French initiative. Logghe’s text about Farwerck is indeed in French, in the same issue he is interviewed in French and other texts are in French as well.

Information about this second version of Antaios is fairly well available and the French even made a Wikipedia article about the first and second runs of the journal (4). Not that it gives a whole lot of information. This version ran from 1993 to 2001, much longer than Eliade’s original, making 16 issues, two per year, which were named. Information about the journal with some history and a complete table of contents can be found online (5). That website says:

This study-book, having set itself the task of studying European paganisms and taking an interest in their current manifestations, stood out for its seriousness, its spiritual and non-folkloric approach to the first European religions. (6)

There is still Traditionalism there, but the focus seems to have shifted somewhat. All volumes can be downloaded when you go to the website (5) and click the names of the issues.

The New Antaios

Like I said, in 2009 or 2010 I was contacted by a man who was to launch the third incarnation. I do not know if he was familiar with the second, but it was called The New Antaios, journal for the free world, an obvious reference to the first incarnation. I do not remember how long exactly the website existed. The Wayback Machine has the website indexed until 2019 (7), but from 2016 on it is some sort of Chinese placeholder / spam site.

There were plans for a printed magazine (announced February 2013), there was an “overhaul” late 2013 which meant a new direction and a new “subtitle”: “Journal for the studies in Hellenismos, Neoplatonism and Hinduism” and I now see that Lennart Svensson contributed, what a small world. Svensson in his short history of the Antaios journal says nothing about the French version.

Texts on the website were about Jünger (of course), Hermann Löns, Julius Evola, Ludwig Fahrenkrog and there were texts of people such as Jan Assmann and Boris Nad.

End

And so ends my story about Antaios. It would be something if Farwerck can somehow be connected to the original, German edition, but the chance is of course small. He did live 10 years after it was started.


(1) Aries 9, 2009, see here (accessed 14/2/2020)

(2) Table of contents for 1960

(3) Heilige Tiefe und geistiger Überblick: die Zeitschrift Antaios (1959–1971) by Alexander Pschera in Sezession (2007)

(4) https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antaios accessed 14/2/2020

(5) http://www.archiveseroe.eu/antaios-a48651284 accessed 14/2/2020

(6) Cette revue-livre, s’étant donnée pour tâche d’étudier les paganismes européens et de s’intéresser à leurs manifestations actuelles, se distinguait par son sérieux, son approche spirituelle et non folklorique des premières religions européennes. Elle connut 16 livraisons entre 1993 et 2001

(7) http://web.archive.org/web/2019*/http://www.new-antaios.net accessed 14/2/2020

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