In 1955 Martin Heidegger contributed an essay, ‘Concerning (or about) “the line” ’ [Über die Linie], to a Festschrift commemorating the sixtieth birthday of novelist and essayist Ernst Jünger (Heidegger 1998 [1955]). Heidegger’s essay, formulated as a letter, was a response to Jünger’s own essay ‘Across the line’ [also Über die Linie], in which the author used the metaphor of ‘the line’ to meditate on the question of nihilism in the modern age and the possibilities of its overcoming (1950; see also 1991). Jünger had suggested that overcoming nihilism could only be possible by crossing the line that constituted ‘the border between two world eras’ (Heidegger 1998: 294). Crossing the line, he maintained, would enable the exiting ‘from the zone of consummate nihilism’ and move humanity ‘to the realm of a “new turning of being” ’ (ibid.). Jünger’s meditation concerned the transgression of the line, the ‘across’, and what came after this crossing. Heidegger, however, challenged this view as misguided: one had to discuss the line, the distinction or boundary, and try to understand its meaning and implications: ‘you look across and go across the line; I simply take a look at the line that you have represented’ (ibid.). Heidegger wanted, rather, ‘to think ahead to this locale of the line and thus locate the line’ (ibid.; emphasis added). In other words, Heidegger argued that thinking about world eras, and modernity in particular, required meditation ‘about’ or ‘concerning’ the line, rather than a call to cross it.