‘Swallowing reality whole so as not to lack even a bit of it is arguably the ultimate metaphor for all realism.’

‘Swallowing reality whole so as not to lack even a bit of it is arguably the ultimate metaphor for all realism. Therefore, the most audacious expression of religious longing for unity with the deity—and the sole defence against God’s capriciousness and superiority—is allowing believers to eat their God. Every anxious recourse to symbolism surrenders the boldness found in this form of assuring salvation.’

Hans Blumenberg, Care Crosses the River. (Trans. Paul Fleming)

There was at least an attempt to read other books, but I think I intended only more Blumenberg. Work on Myth rests to my right on my desk, and The Legitimacy of the Modern Age will arrive next week. The only other temptation is Cărtărescu’s Blinding, but that will exhaust what is available of his in translation for a while, so I’m in no hurry. It sits on top of Myth. There are possibly five other of Blumenberg’s books available in English, with History, Metaphors, and Fables due out in late summer. There is much more of his work that could be translated and more in his archives that hopefully is published.

2 thoughts on “‘Swallowing reality whole so as not to lack even a bit of it is arguably the ultimate metaphor for all realism.’

  1. I read The Legitimacy of the Modern Age as a second year philosophy student. I remember attending a seminar where we had to present the topics of our undergraduate theses. I said I want to write about modernity and placed the book from my bag. The professor’s sighed, chuckled, or shook their heads. Some did all three. I persevered and actually read the book, although all I got out of it was a single footnote.

    I am looking forward to reading what you will make of it. Also, Shipwreck with Spectator, if you ever choose to read that one. I regret selling my copy some years ago.

    • There is, I gather from reading around ‘Legitimacy’ rather than directly, a footnote about imaginary libraries, which I am looking forward to coming across. There was a good piece in December’s TLS about Blumenberg.

      There is a section on shipwrecks ‘Care Crosses a River’, which is outstanding.

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