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History, Metaphors, FablesA Hans Blumenberg Reader$
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Hans Blumenberg

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501732829

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501732829.001.0001

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Of Nonunderstanding

Of Nonunderstanding

Glosses on Three Fables (1984)

(p.562) 24 Of Nonunderstanding
History, Metaphors, Fables

Hans Blumenberg

Cornell University Press

This chapter reflects on Hans Blumenberg's “Of Nonunderstanding: Glosses on Three Fables” (1984). The first fable is “The Pauper's Coin.” Blumenberg read this fable as a hint about how important it is for the poor man, too, to carry at least a small coin about him. The second is a lyric fable of Babrios from the second century, in which Zeus, Poseidon, and Athena engage in an art competition. Meanwhile, the Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives recorded the fable of the peasant who killed a donkey because it swallowed the moon while drinking from a bucket, and because the world could sooner do without a donkey than without heaven's lamp. The chapter then considers the different ways that this fable can be read.

Keywords:   Hans Blumenberg, fables, The Pauper's Coin, lyric fable, Babrios, Juan Luis Vives

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