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Sibylle Lewitscharoff - The novel centres on a fictionalised version of the German philosopher Hans Blumenberg, most famous for his concept of ‘metaphorology’, who died in 1996.Themes and style alike contribute to the overall effect: a clever blend of poetry, philosophy and comedy by an author who is a master of her craft

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Sibylle Lewitscharoff, Blumenberg, Trans. by Wieland Hoban, Seagull Books, 2017.


One night, German philosopher Hans Blumenberg returns to his study to find a shocking sight—a lion lying on the floor as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. The lion stretches comfortably on the Turkmen rug, eyes resting on Blumenberg. The philosopher retains his composure with some effort, even when the next day during his lecture the lion makes another appearance, ambling slowly down the centre aisle. Blumenberg glances around—the seats are full, but none of his students seem to see the lion. What is going on here? Blumenberg is the captivating and witty fictional tale of this likeable philosopher and the handful of students who come under the spell of the supernatural lion—including skinny Gerhard Optatus Baur, a promising young Blumenbergian, and the delicate, haughty Isa, who falls head over heels in love with the wrong man. Written by Sibylle Lewitscharoff, whom Die Welt called the ‘most daz…