Work on Myth

From Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought

Work on Myth

By Hans Blumenberg

Translated by Robert M. Wallace





In this rich examination of how we inherit and transform myths, Hans Blumenberg continues his study of the philosophical roots of the modern world. Work on Myth is in five parts. The first two analyze the characteristics of myth and the stages in the West's work on myth, including long discussions of such authors as Freud, Joyce, Cassirer, and Valéry. The latter three parts present a comprehensive account of the history of the Prometheus myth, from Hesiod and Aeschylus to Gide and Kafka. This section includes a detailed analysis of Goethe's lifelong confrontation with the Prometheus myth, which is a unique synthesis of "psychobiography" and history of ideas.

Work on Myth is included in the series Studies in Contemporary German Social Thought, edited by Thomas McCarthy.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262022156 725 pp. | 6 in x 8.9 in


$50.00 X ISBN: 9780262521338 725 pp. | 6 in x 8.9 in


Robert M. Wallace.


  • Once again Hans Blumenberg offers us a brilliant historical study. Work On Myth extends to a new domain his critical concern with our need to find certainty and direction in a world fraught with contingency. Here, too, Blumenberg proves to be one of the great humanists of our time, discerning alternatives where before we saw necessities, showing myth to be a form of thought which is with us still.

    Charles Larmore

    Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Colombia University

  • This is a stunning philological work. It patiently connects and disconnects logical, rhetorical, and historical links between dogma, myth, and ideology, their establishments in religion, law, and science, and the critiques that singe and sear them... Robert M. Wallace's work is a model of scholarly translation, ambitious and carefully executed.

    Willis G. Regier

    Modern Language Notes