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Coming out of the Cave

by Hans Blumenberg

June 2, 2000

I have been looking forward to reading Blumenberg's essays for a few months now, since Kai recommended it to me. Through the grace of and the German and United States postal systems, a copy is now in my posession; I have begun, very slowly, reading the first essay. NOTE: all translations are my own, and as such are extremely rough. If it seems important, I will give the original with the translation; but generally I will not.

The book is made up entirely of short essays, about 10 - 20 pages each -- I find this to be the best format for philosophical writing because I can maintain the focus necessary for understanding the essay. I am finding it at least as much a blessing as a curse to read this book in German (it was published in 1996, and has not yet been translated), as it forces me to really spend the time necessary to understand each word, each sentence. When I am reading abstract ideas in English I often find it all to easy to simply go on, despite my lack of understanding, with only the sounds of the words in my ears.

I will be maintaining this page in my standard diary format; also, because of the nature of this book, I have created a table of contents so that my notes can be accessed by the essay which the notes refer to.

June 14, 2000

Still struggling with the first essay... I think I am getting the main ideas of it but having some trouble with the connections between the ideas. Since this is the first essay and sort of introductory, that could be because he is laying out his thesis with broad strokes to be developed later -- soon I will move on to find out.

June 15, 2000

This morning I browsed a bit into the second essay. I was happy to find some familiar echoes of thoughts I have had.

August 27, 2000

Back to the book after a long hiatus! I've been working on a bookcase, and we took a vacation in Spain, too!

This weekend I spent some time mulling over the last essay in Part I.