In her novel Blumenberg, Sibylle Lewitscharoff creates a biographical fantasy of the famous German philosopher of the title, leaving the well trodden paths of realistic narration with wanton provocation. The appearance of a lion, invisible to others, which becomes Blumenberg's mute companion, leads the scholar and thus the reader to the boundaries of a purely rational approach to the world.
With powerful and inventive language and subtle humour, the way of life of a withdrawn thinker is contrasted with the inadequacies and threats of human existence, which are revealed in the lives of his students as they all fail in different ways. Sibylle Lewitscharoff weaves the movements of the intellectual central star and his satellites into a narrative cosmos unique in contemporary German literature, ultimately extending it into the hereafter in a manner as liberating as it is disturbing.
I have nearly finished translating her previous novel, Apostoloff, in which Blumenberg and his lion put in a guest appearance alongside a good many Bulgarians and Swabians.